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Thread: lunch fight: ethics and responsibility, private vs public sectors

  1. #1
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    lunch fight: ethics and responsibility, private vs public sectors

    So I got into a big fight at lunch today, and I'd like to hear opinions from the rabble here:

    Which is worse? Unethical practices and/or wasteful spending in a big corporation, or in a government agency/some level of government? We agreed law firms are s special case ( :rolleyes: )

    I argued that public sector is worse, because you're dealing with the captive audience of taxpayers. I can't choose whether to pay a bridge toll, or pay taxes.

    I [B][I]can[/I][/B] choose whether to buy products or services from a certain corporation, or not, if I don't like how they do business.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Unethical practices (including consciously wasteful spending) are always wrong.

    Being a public or private operation is irrelevant.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=quantum;4259184]I can't choose whether to pay a bridge toll...[/QUOTE]

    Sure you can. Don't drive. It's the same thing people say when you claim the government already forces you to buy insurance.

    And taxes? You don't have to pay taxes, silly. Just don't work, don't own a home and don't buy anything.

    Easy. lolz....


    As far as your OP...I don't think you can strictly say one vs. the other. Like Fist said, they're both bad/wrong. But would I view the local animal catcher's lack of ethics worse than my health insurance company?

    Probably.

    Would I view my local governments lack of ethics worse than Coca Cola's?

    Probably.

  4. #4
    one man's wasteful spending is another man's essential spending

    this can be applied from everything from Food Stamps to the Iraq war. there is few measures where spending (either private or public) can be objectively determined to be wasteful. Outside of $700 dollar hammers for the Pentagon it's not that easy to prove waste.

  5. #5
    Both are wrong, but the gov't is by an easier target simply because of access to the info.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=bitonti;4259240]one man's wasteful spending is another man's essential spending[/QUOTE]

    I don't want to speak for the OP, but I took his question to mean clear-cut wasteful (as in malfeasence, fraud or non-purpose wasteful spending, like buying hookers, for example), hence the "and/or Unethical" part, not "politically wasteful to some, vital to others" as you've raised.

    I think his thrust was more one of "is it worse to waste money (actual agreed by all to be waste) as part of a private business, or as part of a area of Government."

    If I've misread his intent, I'm sure he'll clear it up.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=quantum;4259184]So I got into a big fight at lunch today, and I'd like to hear opinions from the rabble here:

    Which is worse? Unethical practices and/or wasteful spending in a big corporation, or in a government agency/some level of government? We agreed law firms are s special case ( :rolleyes: )

    I argued that public sector is worse, because you're dealing with the captive audience of taxpayers. I can't choose whether to pay a bridge toll, or pay taxes.

    I [B][I]can[/I][/B] choose whether to buy products or services from a certain corporation, or not, if I don't like how they do business.

    Thoughts?[/QUOTE]

    Of course Government waste or unethical practices are worse. The Corporation wastes their own money, the Public agency wastes the public's money.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=chiefst2000;4259287]Of course Government waste or unethical practices are worse. The Corporation wastes their own money, the Public agency wastes the public's money.[/QUOTE]

    Waste in a Big Corporation either wastes the stockholders money (public), or the owners moneys (private). Unless it's the stockholder or owner personally wasting the money or acting unethically, the "wrongness" is no different than waste in a Government Dept.

    Setting up "tiers of ethics" where some waste is less bad than others would be a mistake, on multiple levels, IMO.

  9. #9
    Quick question does anyone have an issue with the CEO who gets 2 or 3 exclusive golf memberships and access to a helicopter for personal use? Or is that simply what is takes to get the best managers in the U.S.?

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4259297]Waste in a Big Corporation either wastes the stockholders money (public), or the owners moneys (private). Unless it's the stockholder or owner personally wasting the money or acting unethically, the "wrongness" is no different than waste in a Government Dept.

    Setting up "tiers of ethics" where some waste is less bad than others would be a mistake, on multiple levels, IMO.[/QUOTE]

    Except that in a REAL company, waste will eventually put the company under. In the public sector we call it under funding and simply ask for more.

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;4259330]Except that in a REAL company, waste will eventually put the company under. In the public sector we call it under funding and simply ask for more.[/QUOTE]

    Which is beyond the scope of the question.

    Waste A vs. Waste B, Not "Waste Over The Course of Forver in A vs. Waste onthe Course of Forever in B".

    Waste is waste, an improper use of company/state funds. Unethical is unethical, period. Again, to portray one as worse than the other, for the same action, is not appropriate, and starts a process of playing favorites, with some waste/unethical behavior inherantly then viewed as "less bad" than others.

    A true conservative would not make such distinctions. A theft from a private company is just as wrong as a theft from the Government, in both cases taxpayers (in general, or a specific group of them/shareholders/owners) is the victim.

    In a way, you're playing right into liberal thinking.....it's "less bad" to steal (via waste or unethical action) from a 1%'ser business, than it is to steal from the taxpayers as a whole.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;4259330]Except that in a REAL company, waste will eventually put the company under.[/QUOTE]

    Not if there is enough revenue to make up for the waste.

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;4259330]Except that in a REAL company, waste will eventually put the company under. In the public sector we call it under funding and simply ask for more.[/QUOTE]

    Really what happened on Wall Street? They didn't go under? Interesting????

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=chiefst2000;4259287]Of course Government waste or unethical practices are worse. The Corporation wastes their own money, the Public agency wastes the public's money.[/QUOTE]


    Y'ever hear of Bernie Madoff?

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=Warfish;4259249]I don't want to speak for the OP, but I took his question to mean clear-cut wasteful (as in malfeasence, fraud or non-purpose wasteful spending, [B]like buying hookers, for example[/B]), [/QUOTE]

    is that waste tho? alot of business gets done with sex workers. It should be legal. Why is that so different than taking someone to Jets game? It's all entertainment and ultimately a write-off.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4259249]I don't want to speak for the OP, but I took his question to mean clear-cut wasteful (as in malfeasence, fraud or non-purpose wasteful spending, like buying hookers, for example), hence the "and/or Unethical" part, not "politically wasteful to some, vital to others" as you've raised.

    I think his thrust was more one of "is it worse to waste money (actual agreed by all to be waste) as part of a private business, or as part of a area of Government."

    If I've misread his intent, I'm sure he'll clear it up.[/QUOTE]

    no, you got it right. and while I agree that both are bad, which in your opinion is worse?

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4259334]Which is beyond the scope of the question.

    Waste A vs. Waste B, Not "Waste Over The Course of Forver in A vs. Waste onthe Course of Forever in B".

    Waste is waste, an improper use of company/state funds. Unethical is unethical, period. Again, to portray one as worse than the other, for the same action, is not appropriate, and starts a process of playing favorites, with some waste/unethical behavior inherantly then viewed as "less bad" than others.

    A true conservative would not make such distinctions. A theft from a private company is just as wrong as a theft from the Government, in both cases taxpayers (in general, or a specific group of them/shareholders/owners) is the victim.

    In a way, you're playing right into liberal thinking.....it's "less bad" to steal (via waste or unethical action) from a 1%'ser business, than it is to steal from the taxpayers as a whole.[/QUOTE]

    I'm not looking at it from the "less bad" angle; more the captive audience angle. Companies are beholden to stockholders - piss them off they take their money and leave, and the company goes under.

    How exactly do you do that with a govt agency? You can't.

    So killing a person is very bad. Killing a child, a pregnant woman, a disabled person, a priest/rabbi is "worse". Yeah, It may be a bit subjective.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=quantum;4259367How exactly do you do that with a govt agency?[/QUOTE]

    An election. Hence, the tea party. :confused:

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=quantum;4259362]no, you got it right. and while I agree that both are bad, which in your opinion is worse?[/QUOTE]

    They are equally bad. The offense is the same, regardless of who the victim is.

    [QUOTE=quantum;4259367]Companies are beholden to stockholders - piss them off they take their money and leave, and the company goes under.

    How exactly do you do that with a govt agency? You can't.[/quote]

    Yes you can, via the vote. Any elected official can be voted out of office in favor of one who is more aggressive against waste and unethical behavior in Government.

    [quote]So killing a person is very bad. Killing a child, a pregnant woman, a disabled person, a priest/rabbi is "worse". Yeah, It may be a bit subjective.[/QUOTE]

    I don't agree with that either.

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=Buster;4259350]Y'ever hear of Bernie Madoff?[/QUOTE]

    Madoff was a thief. I understood the question more referring to companies that pay big salaries to execs or spend tons of money on holiday parties and the like.

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