Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

Crisis in Ethics?

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

When we hear, view or read about the United States current economic dilemma, we need to understand that no laws were broken. Banks losing hundreds of billions of dollars is not a crime. Corporate executives taking millions of dollars in bonus money while laying thousands of workers off is not a crime. However, what we have here is a lack of business ethics.

Let us look at an example to make this clearer. Most of us have credit cards. When we sign for these credit cards we seldom read the extra, extra small print, which states that the bank can raise your interest rates based upon third party audits. Now, you being a good and ethical person pay your bills on-time; however, when you receive your next credit card bill you notice the interest rate is over 25%, your payment is higher and that two thirds of your payment is for interest. This is legal, but not ethical.

Legally, the bank can raise your interest rate higher than organized crime interest rates. However, ethically the bank is in the wrong for placing bad load decisions, which you had no say in creating, on your financial back. The lack of business ethics in the United States today is the reason for our economic problems.

For those of you who subscribed to the theory that a totally free economy is the way to go were wrong and you should reexamine business principles. A business is a legal entity only concerned with acquiring market share and assets. Many large organizations will only engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) only when it benefits the business. Is there anything illegal about that? No.

When you come right down to the basics, ethics is truly social responsibility. Unfortunately, since several businesses have show a lack of ethics, now we will see more government regulation. We also run the risk of losing our form of government. History clearly shows that socialism and communism have taken root when the disparity between the “have and have nots” widen to the point the have nots can not improve their social status through hard work and the entrepreneur spirit. 

Just some thoughts,

Mike Kniaziewicz, MIS