Pilant's Business Ethics

Business Ethics Blog

Tag: donald trump

Dangerous Neoliberalism Edition

Dangerous Neoliberalism Edition

Sometimes you find a paragraph that says what you would like to say brilliantly and this is one of those paragraphs.

Many times I’ve tried to explain the impact of free market fundamentalism, Hayek, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand, all of whose combined effect might well be summed up by the word, neoliberalism.

!!@@#dddddd444hmlbr35

Dangerous Neoliberalism Edition

I strongly agree and endorse the following statement from George Monbiot in his essay from The GuardianNeoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems.

“Perhaps the most dangerous impact of neoliberalism is not the economic crises it has caused, but the political crisis. As the domain of the state is reduced, our ability to change the course of our lives through voting also contracts. Instead, neoliberal theory asserts, people can exercise choice through spending. But some have more to spend than others: in the great consumer or shareholder democracy, votes are not equally distributed. The result is a disempowerment of the poor and middle. As parties of the right and former left adopt similar neoliberal policies, disempowerment turns to disenfranchisement. Large numbers of people have been shed from politics.”

I think Donald Trump is President now due in part to feelings of powerlessness on the part of the middle class due to their loss of economic and political power — and much more due to Hilary Clinton’s embrace of this maniacal philosophy more worthy of a James Bond Villain than someone wanting to be the leader of a free people.

James Pilant

Business Ethics Blog Posts 7-21-2016 The Concrete Sarcophagus Edition

19h

The Concrete Sarcophagus Edition

The Concrete Sarcophagus Edition

Fukushima to be entombed in a concrete sarcophagus? 

The idea of leaving the plant as is and creating a sarcophagus around the three melted down reactors is extremely problematic. The groundwater issue is just one problem that would be a permanent problem. Even the ice wall if it eventually works as planned can only operate for a few years. Erosion and groundwater flows would create a permanent problem for the ocean and the region around the plant. This would also leave the fuel and crumbling buildings in place. Building failures, radioactive dust and fuel debris would all still be in place. This would need to be managed not just due to aging but further natural disasters such as typhoons and tsunami. Current problems include fuel fragments that have been found in unit 1′s torus room basement water. These have been a concern as groundwater flows through these basements that if improperly managed, more of these fuel fragments could leave the basement into the groundwater.

Koizumi asks for help for U.S. veterans who came to Japan’s aid during meltdown. 

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is calling for donations to the relief fund he founded for U.S. veterans who claim their health problems resulted from radioactive fallout after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Speaking at a news conference on July 5 alongside another former prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, Koizumi said of the U.S. veterans: “They went so far to do their utmost to help Japan. It is not the kind of issue we can dismiss with just sympathy.”

Can Economists Reason? 

Neoclassical economics has since long given up on the real world and contents itself with proving things about thought up worlds. Empirical evidence only plays a minor role in economic theory, where models largely function as a substitute for empirical evidence. The one-sided, almost religious, insistence on axiomatic-deductivist modeling as the only scientific activity worthy of pursuing in economics, is a scientific cul-de-sac. To have valid evidence is not enough. What economics needs is sound evidence.

Paul Kiser’s Blog Today!

Liberals are blamed for almost everything, but we are not responsible for the fiasco at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland this week. We did not make a secret deal with Donald Trump to destroy everything Republican. We didn’t pay Rudy Giuliani to do an impression of Hitler speaking to a Nazi rally. We didn’t make Melania Trump look like a Stepford wife and upload her with a speech that was plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s convention speech from eight years ago.

Drug Prices are too high and unfair. 

(This is a particularly good article. You should make a special effort to go to teh original site and read it in full. jp)

First, about 38% of the basic research science is actually funded by taxpayer money—so the public is paying twice: once in taxes and once again for the drugs resulting from the research. This, of course, leaves a significant legitimate area of expenses for companies, but hardly enough to warrant absurdly high prices.

Second, most large drug companies spend almost twice as much on promotion and marketing as they do on R&D. While these are legitimate business expenses, this fact does undercut using R&D expenses to justify excessive drug prices. Obviously, telling the public that pills are pricy because of the cost of marketing pills so people will buy them would not be an effective strategy. There is also the issue of the ethics of advertising drugs, which is another matter entirely.

Third, many “new” drugs are actually slightly tweaked old drugs. Common examples including combining two older drugs to create a “new” drug, changing the delivery method (from an injectable to a pill, for example) or altering the release time. In many cases, the government will grant a new patent for these minor tweaks and this will grant the company up to a 20-year monopoly on the product, preventing competition. This practice, though obviously legal, is certainly sketchy. To use an analogy, imagine a company held the patent on a wheel and an axle. Then, when those patents expired, they patented wheel + axle as a “new” invention. That would obviously be absurd.

Online Charter Schools Seek to Evade Regulation

Ohio’s Steve Dyer reports in his personal blog that defenders of Ohio’s Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, the notorious ECOT online charter school, have even been lobbying delegates to the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland against Ohio’s crack-down on e-schools which seem to have been collecting millions of dollars every year from the state for phantom students.  Dyer writes: “And now, the Ohio Coalition for Quality Education—the state’s ironically named and most egregious defender of poor-performing charter schools… slipped a letter under the doors of delegates to the Republican National Convention….”  The letter “blames sneaky Democratic bureaucrats at ODE (Ohio Department of Education) for ECOT’s problems….”  In fact, as Dyer explains, passage of a bill modestly to increase regulation of Ohio’s charter sector was passed with bipartisan support.  But now, as Ohio’s largest and most profitable charter stands to lose millions of dollars because it has been inflating the per-pupil attendance on which state funding is based, powerful backers are appealing to anyone they can to try to keep their school operating and keep the tax dollars flowing into their profits.

New York Times fails to properly weigh Mike Pence’s education record

Revenge Against the Elites

On the morning after British voters chose to leave the European Union, Obama was in California addressing an audience at Stanford University, a school often celebrated these days as the pre-eminent educational institution of Silicon Valley. The occasion of the president’s remarks was the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and the substance of his speech was the purest globaloney, flavored with a whiff of vintage dotcom ebullience. Obama marveled at the smart young creative people who start tech businesses. He deplored bigotry as an impediment that sometimes keeps these smart creative people from succeeding. He demanded that more power be given to the smart young creatives who are transforming the world. Keywords included “innovation”, “interconnection”, and of course “Zuckerberg”, the Facebook CEO, who has appeared with Obama on so many occasions and whose company is often used as shorthand by Democrats to signify everything that is wonderful about our era.

The socialist faculty have corrupted our youth

So, I guess we should gird ourselves.  If the Republicans lose in November, watch out for some pretty mean-spirited scapegoating directed at the professoriate.  For clearly in the eyes of those like Luntz the younger generation has been “lost’ to “socialism” all because of us and that cries out for a “solution.”  Never mind, of course, that most academics, even on the left, neither call themselves or actually are socialists of any stripe.  Never mind that the number of classes in which openly “socialist” readings predominate is minimal and at many institutions totally non-existent.  I challenge anyone to identify a single “socialist” Economics department.  Never mind also that the most sacred principles of our profession enjoin us from indoctrination.  And, most of all, never mind that a generation brought up during the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, at a time when income and wealth inequality, not to mention simple abject poverty and homelessness, have grown to hitherto unseen levels might well be likely to question the morality and workability of unrestrained capitalism.  Surely instead it’s the professors’ who are to blame for such allegedly extreme views among the youth, not their life experiences.

Overheating. 

‘What do the fateful Brexit referendum, the epidemic spread of Nintendo’s ‘Pokémon Go’ game, the escalating death of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the fivefold growth in tourism since 1980 have in common? The short answer is that they all express symptoms or outcomes of global accelerated change, or ‘overheating’, as I call it in my new book.

Business Ethics Links 7-20-2016 The Orange Leader Edition

RNC votes Trump as nominee. 

This is a radical time in American politics: a time the pundits and elected politicians thought would never come. After two decades of populist anger, the elderly rebels of Pat Buchanan’s pitchfork army finally stormed the barricades of the establishment and hoisted an orange leader atop the smoking rubble.

Don’t hand out union flyers in the South? 

Check your freezer! Massive frozen food recall affects all of U.S. 

Light weights just as good as heavy weights??

“Fatigue is the great equalizer here,” study researcher Stuart Phillips, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, said in a statement. “Lift to the point of exhaustion, and it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light.”

European truck companies conspire to fix prices. 

“It is not acceptable that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, which together account for around 9 out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks produced in Europe, were part of a cartel instead of competing with each other,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The hottest tourist destination? 

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. sued. 

The complaint was filed on behalf of more than 50 plaintiffs who have performed with WWE or its predecessors since the 1970s, including Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff.

It accused Stamford, Connecticut-based WWE and Chairman Vince McMahon of intentionally classifying wrestlers as “independent contractors” rather than employees, as a means to avoid liability under applicable worker protection laws.

“WWE placed corporate gain over its wrestlers’ health, safety, and financial security, choosing to leave the plaintiffs severely injured and with no recourse to treat their damaged minds and bodies,” the complaint said.

It is sad that a corporate behemoth like WWE can make suck enormous profits and simply evade any responsibility for the broken bodies it leaves behind. jp

U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Fights for Equal Pay!

These women make the advertising money by winning and winning a lot. They make American soccer a success and get paid less than their male counterparts who are not as competitive. What’s going on here?

Is there a justification here of any significance beyond simple mulish male stubborn pride? 

I don’t think so.

Simple business ethics says equal pay for equal work but in this case the women are doing better work and still not getting the same. jp

Raging Hormones responsible for sexual assault!!!

That’s right! Sexual assault is not an affirmative act committed with intent, it’s a result of raging hormones. Who would’ve thought? In my apparently irrelevant law school, they taught us that rape was an intentional act and punishable by imprisonment and fines. But lo and behold, the new Big Twelve Commisioner has this to say –

“But let it suffice to say as it pertains to all of our institutions, we are very committed as a group of 10 schools to eradicating sexual assault on our campuses. It almost goes without saying that when you combine alcohol and drugs and raging hormones and the experiences of 18 to 22 years old, it’s probably unrealistic to think that these kinds of things are never going to happen.”

It’s just nature. So, you see – we just have to accept that sexual predators are among us. It’s just natural. 

And that means that rigorous enforcement of the laws, the jailing and punishment of the perpetrators whenever found – we are not going to talk about that. After all, nature! 

f44-t
The Orange Leader Edition

White people are really, really special! 

Women for Trump event poorly attended. Who would have thought? 

Milo Yiannopoulos permanently banned from Twitter

Milo Yiannopoulos, the technology editor for Breitbart.com, tweeted as @Nero. Before he was banned, he had more than 338,000 followers and called himself “the most fabulous supervillain on the internet” for his provocations online.

A known contrarian who likened rape culture to Harry Potter (“both fantasy”) and affectionately referred to Donald Trump as “daddy”, he emerged as a spokesman for the “alt-right” in the wake of the Gamergate movement.

Some conservative groups urge Republicans to accept climate change as fact. 

Climate change, and other environmental concerns, are unlikely to receive much, if any, attention during the Republican convention in Cleveland this week. This is despite a slew of temperature records being broken – June was the 14th consecutive month of record heat around the world – and extreme examples ofArctic ice decline and drought and wildfires in the US west.

But the Republican gathering has been targeted by conservative voices calling for climate science to be accepted and for national parks to be preserved, rather than opened up for drilling and other development.

First woman to run for president arrested. 

Hillary Clinton will make history next week in Philadelphia when she formally becomes the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major party. But she is not the first woman to be nominated as a presidential candidate: that distinction is held by Victoria Claflin Woodhull. In 1872, she became a third-party candidate, running against the incumbent Republican president, General Ulysses S Grant, and his Democratic challenger, New York publisher Horace Greeley. She would not have been able to vote for herself – that right would not be granted to American woman for another 50 years – but that did not deter this pioneering feminist from making a historic bid for change.

Her life story would not be out of place in a 19th-century novel. It is peopled by a colourful array of charlatans, churchmen, philanthropists and philanderers. It is also a classic American tale: a triumph over adversity – poverty, abusive parents, and a bad marriage – and a rise to prominence in the most vital social movements of the day.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén