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Ethics - Moral law vs. Criminal law

Jim Wynne

Super Moderator
#81
I live in an area where public corruption is a joke, but oddly enough, when the feds finally get around to prosecuting it, none of the "little people" (like me) say, "Hey! Let those guys alone! We know all about the bribes and the resulting shortchanging on quality of projects to make up for the money being siphoned off by these folks and we are all right with that."
As I'm sure you recall Wes, back in the day, when Richard J. Daley ruled over the Democratic party in Chicago/Cook County, there were an awful lot of "little people" who understood the corrupt nature of Machine politics and were more or less OK with it. It wasn't until after his death in 1976 that things took a different turn and zealous federal prosecutors started putting people in jail. Even so, imo, it's still not a case of righteous indignation on the part of the electorate so much as it is elected/politically appointed prosecutors looking for the limelight that results in prosecutions.
 
#82
While I'm sure that my friend's company doesn't take out ads about this practice on Dubia TV, as far as I know, this company's payouts are not a secret.

Chicago politics are notorious: "We can't call this election until we count the vote from Cook County's cemeteries." Nonetheless, Chicagoans love to see the high and mighty get taken down a peg or two. It's almost a sport. In both Chicago and Dubai, the case can be made that those receiving graft payments are not the only beneficiaries. Various public employees, union members, hotel service personnel, etc. (i.e. "the little people) benefit from the "progress" achieved when large construction projects move forward.

I'm not privy to the accounting practices of my friend's company; however, I have been led to believe that these "questionable" payments are not hidden from their stakeholders nor the governments of their host countries.
 
#83
Therein lies the problem with cross cultural and individual ethics....What may be evil for you may not be for me, and what may be good for you may be bad for me.
Exactly.
In many places in the world slavery is still practiced and accepted. Is it good or evil? In the Old Testament it was very much accepted within established guidelines.
Careful, Randy, careful. We can't even all agree on a definition for murder. "Thou shalt not kill" gave a lot of Catholic soldiers in WWII quite a bit of moral incertitude even though they were battling against [arguably] one of the most horrible regimes in history. Who decides what is a Just War? The winners, that's who.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#84
Exactly.Careful, Randy, careful. We can't even all agree on a definition for murder. "Thou shalt not kill" gave a lot of Catholic soldiers in WWII quite a bit of moral incertitude even though they were battling against [arguably] one of the most horrible regimes in history. Who decides what is a Just War? The winners, that's who.

Even the Lord himself ordered that war should take place...just study Joshua and the conquest of Canaan as a starting place. If fact not following the command for war was punished. There was a very distinct difference between "war" and "murder".

Looking in the Book of Romans in 13:3-4 it says that rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil, and that he (the ruler) is the minister of God ....and beareth not the sword in vain....a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

I'm not pressing any religious agenda, but the ethical argument used by some "Christians" when it comes to "war" killing is not the same as "murder" killing.

Murder has generally been the unsanctioned/unlawful taking of human life...the real problem with this is the sanctioning body and the history surrounding it like Nazi Germany and Imperialistic Japan. Of course the history was as you say...written by the victors.

We in the US were just as guilty when it came to our pursuit of our "Manifest Destiny". Didn't we in our own way practice Lebensraum and seek a "final solution"? Who wrote the history?

What would our founding fathers be called in today's terminology? (The old boys from the 1775-1783 time era) Were they unethical, immoral or illegal in their actions?
 
#85
As I'm sure you recall Wes, back in the day, when Richard J. Daley ruled over the Democratic party in Chicago/Cook County, there were an awful lot of "little people" who understood the corrupt nature of Machine politics and were more or less OK with it. It wasn't until after his death in 1976 that things took a different turn and zealous federal prosecutors started putting people in jail. Even so, imo, it's still not a case of righteous indignation on the part of the electorate so much as it is elected/politically appointed prosecutors looking for the limelight that results in prosecutions.
Yes and no. Politicians were tried and convicted when Daley the First was mayor.
ALDERMEN'S CORRUPTION CONVICTIONS


Chicago Sun-Times, May 27, 2000

Aldermen or former aldermen convicted on corruption charges since 1973:
Fred Hubbard (2nd) pleaded guilty in 1973 to embezzling
Joseph Jambrone (28th) convicted in 1973 of taking bribes
Casimir J. Staszcuk (13th) convicted in 1973 of extortion
Joseph Potempa (23rd) pleaded guilty in 1973 to taking a bribe
Frank J. Kuta (23rd) convicted in 1974 of extortion
Thomas E. Keane (31st) convicted in 1974 of mail fraud and conspiracy
Paul T. Wigoda (49th) convicted in 1974 of tax evasion for failing to report a bribe
Donald T. Swinarski (12th) pleaded guilty in 1975 to filing a false tax return in connection with a payoff for a zoning change
RJ and my dad were acquaintances and baseball (16-inch softball) rivals from the neighborhood. We ran into RJ frequently at wakes and community events and talked amiably. He was a good politician in that he remembered names, faces, events and KEPT SCORE! I even had to go hat in hand to see RJ myself once (when my neighbors and I got screwed over by some city workers) to get things straightened out which should have been simply a matter of a phone call to a supervisor to resolve. That doesn't mean I was OK with it or that my neighbors were happy that I had to do it because we were stymied by some small time jerk looking for a payoff way beyond his value to the transaction.

So, to avoid an illegal bribe, I was forced to make a legal one by being obligated to pony up when my alderman came looking for donations to a political fundraiser (because he, too, kept score when RJ passed the word to fix our problem without a direct bribe.) In the long run, it may have cost me more, personally, than if I paid the direct bribe. It's more than 30 years later and the deal still rankles because I HAD to use the "wink and a nod" instead of getting what I should have gotten without the wink and a nod.
 
#86
And therein lies the rub: If you can accomplish most transactions without a bribe, then bribes are either illegal or at the very least unethical. Thus you were rankled. If you must accompany most transactions with a little lagniappe, then you go into the transaction prepared, both physically and ethically, to pay the extended price*.
(*wink and nod not included in base sticker price, your mileage may vary, may be unethical in the state of California, always read your owner's manual, additional fees may be incurred under subscription plan)
 
C

Craig H.

#87
16 inch softball and political corruption were both Chicago pastimes in those days (I lived in Hoffman Estates until 1976). Mike Royko, a Sun Times columnist, made great sport of nailing restaurant inspectors, aldermen, and the like at the time, and his book "The Boss" is a good, if not infuriating, read.

Daley's influence went far beyond Chicago.
 
#90
I just saw this article and thought it fit into the OPs subject of this thread.

http://www.manufacturing.net/Defects-Hidden-At-Toyota-GM-Plant.aspx

Happy Turkey Day. It's already "Thursday"
:D

Joachim
I have a colleague in Japan who is a very well-regarded Quality expert who counts Toyota among his clients. He often comments on the "cover-up" mentality rampant at Toyota and other major Japanese manufacturers and openly snorts when folks from western nations wax eloquent about the "wonderful" quality at Toyota. He says, further, that no modern Japanese business person feels compelled to fall on his sword over a lapse in Quality which injures or kills folks - they just sweep the affair under the rug with the connivance and compliance of regulators and media.

Given that kind of background and the fact the "certified" auditor didn't get an attorney up front, the article demonstrates the peril of going up against a large corporation when the top managers refuse to hear negative information about products or operations.
 
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