Beware of Demagogues

Robert Reich discusses the growing government cynicism the result of a number of things including political rhetoric, politician’s misuse of authority, capitalism overtaking democracy and the increasing control of special interest over the affairs of the public.

 

When material self-interest is the only interest that is served, then government becomes an instrument in service to those with the means to purchase it.  Continue reading

Becoming the Greatest

Where are we headed?

The significant finding in a recent US Census report (Income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2010) isn’t that the poverty rate is highest since 1993.  Rather it is that the poverty rate had been steadily declining between 1993 (15.1%) and 2000 (11.3%) and steadily increasing to its present 15.1% since 2000.  What caused a worsening upward trend to emerge from what had been an improving outlook? What policies affected the difference between these two periods? Continue reading

Beyond The Bottom Line

Until business becomes the means for people to actualize their potential as human beings and not just the means for the wealthy to accumulate more wealth, there will forever be a downward push against labor.  The notion that if we can get people to work for less then we can be far more profitable seems to be the guiding principle. Continue reading

Corporate Overlords

The testimony of the CEOs from America’s five leading oil companies before congress revealed their belief that the unit of survival is (solely) their organization.  That is, the center of the universe is (literally) their corporation and industry and correspondingly that their importance both personally and corporately must not be questioned—they stand above it all. Continue reading

The Nature of Management

As Marjorie Kaplan, President of the Animal Planet and Science networks, noted in a recent interview, “it’s easy to be somebody’s friend. It’s harder to be their manager.”  While both are relationships they are different relationships.  What is the difference?  Likely it rests on the purpose or objective of why you are in the relationship. Continue reading

Ethically Sound Action

Ethical decisions are difficult because they involve value-centered life issues that cannot be grasped solely through empirical/objective means. Since there is more to life than spending, getting, and having life must not be equated to the amount of material wealth we amass. There have been instances where the numbers was the guide and the results were disastrous (e.g. most recently Toyota, BP). In short, the numbers alone can’t be the guide. Continue reading

Ethically Sound Action

Ethical decisions are difficult because they involve value-centered life issues that cannot be grasped solely through empirical/objective means. Since there is more to life than spending, getting, and having life must not be equated to the amount of material wealth we amass. There have been instances where the numbers was the guide and the results were disastrous (e.g. most recently Toyota, BP). In short, the numbers alone can’t be the guide. Continue reading

Responsible Business

What is the ethical, social or environmental responsibility of business?   The answer to this question rests on whether or not organizations are machines of commerce, profit-producing instruments. The law of corporations says they are run primarily in the interest of stockholders, the responsibility is fiduciary. Let’s assume that this is indeed the case; that they are profit-producing instruments.

A hammer—a tool for driving a nail—has no ethical, social or environmental responsibility.  Neither does an automobile, an instrument for transportation.  It seems then the organization has no more of a responsibility than any other instrument or tool.  However the one employing the instrument does! Continue reading

Morality in Leadership

Moral behavior requires understanding the difference between right and wrong, and acting accordingly.  However, right versus wrong can only be assessed in relation to a system of values.  But this does not mean that morality is relativistic.  If it was, we could not say any act is morally wrong since we would have to accept all value systems even those harmful to others.

Since people abhor the exploitation, manipulation, and destruction of life, we must acknowledge the existence of a universal set of (moral) values that are applicable to all of humankind. Obviously there is something in all of us that informs us of what is right in honor of life. In this light, moral issues concern a universal ‘we’ not what’s in it for ‘me’ or ‘us’. Continue reading