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

  1. #21
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4259390]They are equally bad. The offense is the same, regardless of who the victim is.



    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.



    I don't agree with that either.[/QUOTE]

    In theory, you are correct. In practice, the govt agency continues on, doing what's its always been doing. The MTA and Port Authority are perfect examples. R, D - doesn't matter: nothing changes.

  2. #22
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    [QUOTE=quantum;4259870] R, D - doesn't matter: nothing changes.[/QUOTE]

    Now you're learning.... :D

  3. #23
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    Government is easily fixed just raise taxes. Except of someone says no!

  4. #24
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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]

    Two schools of ethics: principle vs. outcome. If you're more principle based, your statement is 100% correct. If you're more outcome based, you might argue that the ethical cost is greater in a public institution. Is it ethically worse to kill two people rather than one, or is the ethical situation neutral in regard to quantity, since the intent is the same in both instances? On another subject, corporation are usually much less transparent, even to their shareholders, than public institutions, so the opportunity for duplicitous/unethical behavior is generally increased. Bottom line: you have to define what you mean by "ethical."

  5. #25
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    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;4264760]Two schools of ethics: principle vs. outcome. If you're more principle based, your statement is 100% correct.[/quote]

    [QUOTE]If you're more outcome based, you might argue that the ethical cost is greater in a public institution.[/QUOTE]

    Interesting comments.

    [quote]On another subject, corporation are usually much less transparent, even to their shareholders, than public institutions, so the opportunity for duplicitous/unethical behavior is generally increased.[/QUOTE]

    While Governmental institutions do face additional financial disclosure requirements, they have a host of other ways to obscure their fiscal house and any potential financial waste or malfeasence. Additionally, there are less control mechanicsms in place (for the General Public) to curb fraud and waste in such institutions.

    A share-holder can always sell their stock. A taxpayer can never escape public policy, and (individually) their only power is one....single....worthless.....little....vote.;)

  6. #26
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4264778]Interesting comments.



    While Governmental institutions do face additional financial disclosure requirements, they have a host of other ways to obscure their fiscal house and any potential financial waste or malfeasence. Additionally, there are less control mechanicsms in place (for the General Public) to curb fraud and waste in such institutions.

    A share-holder can always sell their stock. A taxpayer can never escape public policy, and (individually) their only power is one....single....worthless.....little....vote.;)[/QUOTE]

    I think there's a distinction here between fraud and waste. In all truth, I think government is better at exposing fraud than private industry due to transparency. Ironically, I think government is worse in regard to waste, not because of poor ethical oversight, but because most waste in government is legislated and sanctioned. Somebody approved the payment of $600 for a toilet seat in government. It wasn't deception.

  7. #27
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    [QUOTE=long island leprechaun;4264886]I think there's a distinction here between fraud and waste.[/quote]

    Indeed, thats appropriate.

    [quote]In all truth, I think government is better at exposing fraud than private industry due to transparency.[/quote]

    We would disagree on the value of transparency, when that transparency is obscured via a number fo other mechanics, including obfuscation by overwhelming detail. I.e. burying it in a pile so large, no sane person will actually sift through it all to find it, and even if they do, it's one small thing in a sea of things (the "it's not really bad, it's only 500 million" defense). Generally speaking, this is Governments main defense again the taxpayer who pays the bills.

    [quote]Ironically, I think government is worse in regard to waste, not because of poor ethical oversight, but because most waste in government is legislated and sanctioned. Somebody approved the payment of $600 for a toilet seat in government. It wasn't deception.[/QUOTE]

    I agree that much of it is a byproduct of the way the system itself, of budgeting and spending, is designed. Use it (hence validating the need/request for it) or lose it (sinc eyou must not have needed it) for next cycle plays it's part in the much ballyhoo'ed $600 crapper.

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