One of the Tragedies of Our Time

i_060One of the Tragedies of Our Time

David Yamada touches upon one of the great tragedies of our time. The new generation is facing a wold in which doing vital, meaningful, satisfying work is not possible. We live in a time where any employment is difficult to find, where job security is a joke and where casual cruelty often substitutes for leadership.

I often wonder how people can seriously talk about an entitlement generation when we live in such times. The new generation faces a future beset by underemployment, high student debt and economic stagnation. Is that what they are entitled to?

Please read Yamada’s work and sign up as a follower on his excellent blog.

James Pilant

For many, the economic meltdown means shelving the idea of a true vocation « Minding the Workplace

In The Four Purposes of Life (2011), Dan Millman identifies a cluster of key criteria for developing a career:

“Do I find the work satisfying?”

“Can I make good money?”

“Does it provide a useful service?”

Some might add factors such as work-life balance, geographic location, and the like, but overall, I’d say that Millman’s three criteria are useful guideposts for most people. And during much of the last half of the 20th century, as America’s post-WWII economy went into high gear and fueled the nation’s growing middle class, having some choice over one’s vocation became a realistic option. Against the backdrop of a robust economy and labor market, people could start thinking about work as being more than a source of income.

Today, however, the scarcity of good jobs is limiting our vistas considerably. Especially for those who have struggled with layoffs and unemployment, finding work that “merely” pays the bills understandably outpaces job satisfaction and notions of service as individual priorities. Millions are just trying to get by.

via For many, the economic meltdown means shelving the idea of a true vocation « Minding the Workplace.

From Around the Web.

img386From the web site, Word Journey.

Is the cliché that all good things, or bad things, come in threes? Never mind, I can’t dictate it for you and you’re likely to take my question as rhetorical. Beginning a blog post with a cliché aside, I figured it was time to update my journey through joblessness. This will be my third and hopefully final post on the subject, unless you count my Gold Coast amendment post made after some criticism I received in relation to comments I made about my dear city in The Year of Living Idly – The Negatives. It will also, which I thought was appropriate, be my third and final, for a while at least, phone blog (or “phlog”). And I’ll presume any criticism of those previous two to be either withheld or still pending.

I have actually worked since initially becoming unemployed in July 2012, but have remained on the dole ever since early in 2013 – after I returned from three months’ glorious yet aimless travelling. Technically, I am now working but I don’t count it because it is only for two days per week, and it is work for the dole. I spend my Wednesdays and Thursdays or Thursdays and Fridays helping cook crisis meals for the disadvantaged and maintaining an about an acre property run by a Christian church. With other unemployed people. Depending on my mood, I either think it’s great or loathe it – just like real work. And my best prospect for some paid employment at the moment is blueberry picking, which was mentioned as an opportunity by my work for the dole supervisor. The system works. Or at least, it might. Such is life.

David Yamada Talks about Human Dignity

David Yamada
David Yamada

David Yamada Talks about Human Dignity

I like to think of David Yamada as a business ethics authority. He comes at the workplace from a different angle but still his subject is business ethics.

He continually asks the questions: What is happening in the workplace. Is it ethical? Can we do better?

I share his concerns.

I recommend his web site and admire the energy of his regular posting.

James Pilant

Making human dignity the centerpiece of American employment law and policy « Minding the Workplace

First, we must remain steadfast and unapologetic in calling for dignity in the workplace, even at the risk of being labeled foolish or naive. . . . In the face of likely criticism and even ridicule, we must make the case, without embarrassment, that workers should not have to check their dignity at the office or factory door.

Second, it is important to understand how we got to this place. The markets and management framework did not achieve dominance overnight or by accident. Its current, enduring incarnation has been the result of careful, patient, and intelligent intellectual spadework and political organizing. . . .

Third, just as the emergence of the markets and management framework was part of a broader political, social, and economic movement, the call for dignity at work cannot be made in a vacuum. . . . [D]enials of dignity occur throughout society, and therefore call for connected rather than atomized responses.

Finally, we must work on crafting messages that persuade the general public and stakeholders in employment relations. . . . [W]e need to translate these ideas into messages that reach people in legislatures, courts, administrative agencies, union halls, board rooms, and the media. This will not be easy, but at stake is nothing less than the well-being of millions of people who work for a living and those who depend on them.

via Making human dignity the centerpiece of American employment law and policy « Minding the Workplace.

From around the web.

From the web site, Workspace Practices.

If you haven’t heard of David Yamada, professor at Suffolk University School of Law, chances are you will some time soon. In addition to his work as a legal professor, he is also the director of the New Workplace Institute, which has a WordPress blog of the same name. Through the institute Professor Yamada raises public and institutional awareness about workplace bullying.

The Workplace Bullying Institute defines bullying as repeated, health-harming mistreatment of the bully’s target. This mistreatment can include verbal abuse; offensive behavior, verbal or non-verbal, that is threatening, humiliating or intimidating; work sabotage which prevents work from being accomplished.

Bullying has particular resonance in Massachusetts, where in 2010 a high-profile case of teenage bullying led 15-year-old Phoebe Prince to commit suicide after sustained harassment by classmates at her high school with little if any intervention by school authorities.

While we know the perils of high school with its particular brand of tormentors, there is another kind — the bully who grew up and moved on from high school and is now a workplace bully. It is this kind of bully that Yamada’s work seeks to defang.

When he first started out, Yamada thought he wanted to practice public-interest law, although he wasn’t quite sure what that involved.  After receiving his JD from New York University School of Law he practiced at the New York Attorney General’s Office and the Legal Aid Society of New York City.


Tell President Obama to Pay His Interns!

Would you, my kind readers, help me out?

First, it’s simply unjust to work without pay and, second, it means that only the wealthier students can afford to hold an internship where the contacts and influence acquired will benefit them their entire lives. If the President is serious about wealth inequality, then he should fix the inequity in his own backyard.

That’s why I created a petition to President Barack Obama, which says:

“White House internships should no longer be unpaid. These positions can be applied for by those who are in college or just graduates or military veterans with at least a high school education. Only a handful of this pool can afford to work without salary and so only the wealthy need apply. “

Will you sign my petition? Click here to add your name:


James Pilant

From around the web.

From the web site, Money.CNN.

For employers who rely on unpaid interns, it’s been the summer of reckoning.

Hundreds of interns have filed lawsuits or raised complaints over working long hours for free. But one group of former interns is sidestepping the courtroom and going straight to the White House to fight for fair compensation.

The Fair Pay Campaign, a grassroots lobby set to launch around Labor Day, is calling on President Obama to pay White House interns in order to set an example for other government agencies and private employers.

“We have a minimum wage law in this country, and just because you call someone an intern doesn’t mean you get out of it,” said Mikey Franklin, the leader of Fair Pay’s charge.

From the web site, Minding the Workplace. This blog belongs to my colleague, David Yamada, an expert in the field of workplace bullying.

This summer, countless numbers of students will work in unpaid internships, in many instances for large corporations that could easily afford to pay them. Not only is this widespread practice often in apparent violation of state and federal minimum wage laws, but also it creates barriers to those who want to break into an occupation but who cannot afford to work for free.

Now there’s an emerging movement against unpaid internships (especially in the private sector), and here’s evidence of its coming out party:


Well-publicized legal claims for back pay by unpaid interns have played a significant role in bringing this common practice to public light.

It started last fall with a lawsuit filed by two unpaid interns, Alex Footman and Eric Glatt, who worked on the production of the movie “Black Swan,” alleging that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime rules.

Earlier this year, Xuedan Wang, a former unpaid intern for Harper’s Bazaar, filed a claim against the magazine’s publisher, the Hearst Corporation.

David Yamada Talks Interns

David Yamada
David Yamada

David Yamada Talks Interns

Yamada posts a timeline of the key events in the unpaid intern controversy. It’s a good story. Suddenly, an industry practice of extorting labor for access and hope became controversial. Needless to say, I was pleased. Yamada has been a major player in the anti-bullying movement for years. You should pay attention to what he has to say.

James Pilant

It played at a summer near you: “The Unpaid Intern Strikes Back”

  • It started in June, when a New York federal district court ruled in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures that lead plaintiffs Eric Glatt and Alex Footman, who worked as unpaid interns on the production of the movie “Black Swan,” were entitled to back pay under federal and state minimum wage laws.
  • The Glatt decision triggered a wave of mainstream national media coverage that, in turn, spurred public discussions about the intern economy and whether unpaid internships should be permitted under the law.
  • In the immediate aftermath of Glatt came a marked increase in filings of legal claims for unpaid wages by former interns.
  • ProPublica, the non-profit investigative journalism organization, created a project to examine the intern economy in America and conducted a well-publicized and successful crowd sourced fundraising campaign for a paid project intern.
  • When a senior official with the Lean In Foundation, a charitable organization launched by Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg to support the careers of women, advertised for an unpaid editorial intern in August 2013, the result was a loud public backlash. Within 48 hours, the Foundation announced that it would create a paid internship program.
  • Interns at the Nation Institute in New York, publisher of the political magazine The Nation, submitted a letter to the editor to the magazine, calling upon it to pay its full-time summer interns a living wage, rather than the $150 weekly stipend it currently paid. The Institute’s director responded by saying that it will raise the internship stipend and raise money for travel and housing grants.
  • As Intern Labor Rights continued its key role as a face-to-face and social media organizing presence in New York, the movement expanded beyond its New York base to Washington, D.C., another common site of unpaid internships. The Fair Pay Campaign went public with a call for the White House to pay its interns, citing the Oval Office’s hypocrisy in calling for a higher minimum wage while failing to pay even the current one to interns for their work.

From around the web.

From the web site, Thoughts from an Unpaid Intern.

When life gives you lemons, start a blog.

As one of the many unpaid interns/waitresses that, I like to think, run this town, I leave work every day with frustrations I need to vent and a days worth of my own pent-up political commentary that no one wants to listen to…yet…I hope.

So I’m going to throw it all up here and see what happens.

Here’s my attempt to find humor in the thankless jobs of unpaid interning, waitressing and my humble thoughts on the assorted tidbits of news I come across at work and the many foreign policy-related talks that DC has to offer.

Steven Mintz Addresses the Issue of Workplace Bullying

Steven Mintz writing in his blog, Workplace Ethics Advice, has some things to say about bullying in the workplace. As an attorney I can tell you with authority that he knows his business

If you believe you are the target of a workplace bully, speak to the person doing the bullying. Similar to sexual harassment in the workplace, a topic of a previous blog, the first step with bullying is to make your feelings known that it is unwanted and unwelcome behavior. While you know it can negatively affect workplace performance, I recommend you not mention that to a supervisor because it might be held against you if the matter gets out of control and a workplace demotion or firing needs to be “justified.” While talking to other employees may seem to be a logical step, be careful who you choose to discuss the matter with as that person might be pressured by the bullier down the road to tell the latter’s side of the story. What should you do? Be sure to keep a log to record when each incident occurred; what was said or done in response to it; and your feelings on the matter. It is a good idea to give a copy of the log to a trusted advisor who can independently attest to the facts down the road if that becomes necessary. This is similar to the protective step I recommend for a whistle-blower, the topic of my next blog.

Steven Mintz

Steven Mintz has been blogging for quite some time. He works hard at it and is well informed. His blog posts are backed up by careful research and a well ordered writing style. I recommend you read his blogs, favorite the site and subscribe. He’s one of the best ethics bloggers on the web.

James Pilant


Ethics Roundup 2-20-11

Picture by Greg Kendall Ball

The Crane and Matten Blog have a wonderful article up. It’s called Baron-zu-Googleberg. And it’s a morality tale. I’d go read this one just for the sheer fun of it.

From the post –

One of the funnier incidents in cypberspace is the facebook page on this (‘If Guttenberg has a Doctor, I want one too!’) or the new keyboard designed for PhDs a la Guttenberg – with all keys removed except the ‘c’ut and ‘v’-paste ones…

From Ethics Blog, a reflection on leadership

We are most likely not heads of state, but we are all to some degree leaders. Can we be both feared and loved? I think it is possible. As parents we try to find the delicate balance between authority and love. Such balance can also sometimes be found in the military. We read and hear of stories about commanders who were both feared (court martial is always a possibility if one does not obey orders) and yet loved by their men who sometimes would even risk their lives for their leaders.

There is a new Chuck Gallager blog post and it is fascinating. Apparently, he had a blog post which another person had issues with (I want you to read the post for all the play by plays.). So he published his old post with the new comments entered into the appropriate places. It is a very ethical and intelligent way to handle the subject (and more than a little time consuming). I’m impressed.

David Yamada in his blog, Minding the Workplace has a great deal to say about the ongoing events in Wisconsin –

Governor Walker’s attack on human rights is unlike anything I’ve seen in the U.S. during my adult lifetime. He is using the state’s budget woes as a pretext to justify denying workers the right to bargain over their compensation and benefits. Hard bargaining at the negotiation table in the midst of tough economic times is one thing, but moving to deny workers a collective voice is pure thuggery.

Washington’s Blog has a truly fascinating post – Don’t Let Wisconsin Divide Us … Conservatives and Liberals Agree about the Important Things.

In fact, most Americans – conservatives and liberals – are fed up with both of the mainstream republican and democratic parties, because it has become obvious that both parties serve Wall Street and the military-industrial complex at the expense of most Americans.


The costs of suffering in silence about bad work situations (via Minding the Workplace)

“Don’t cause any trouble.” “It won’t do any good.” “Nothing ever changes.” “You’ll just get fired.” “He’s the boss’ favorite, you’ll get canned.” The litany goes on.

It’s a cultural thing. We are supposed to be tough, supposed to be able to handle it, not be a sissy.

That is empowerment. Definite, hardcore, empowerment. It makes every bully, every wiseass put down artist – well nigh invincible.

If there is anything you should avoid, it’s making some two-bit bullies feel good about themselves.

The article below explains some of the downsides to not speaking out.

Yamada’s work is excellent. I recommend his work.

James Pilant

Let’s say you’re being bullied or harassed or otherwise mistreated at work. Or maybe you’ve just learned that you’re being horribly underpaid compared to the less-than-stellar fellow in the next office or cubicle. Anger and resentment are natural responses to these situations, but is there any outlet to express your emotions at work? Bottled up Many people — dare I say most people — will keep it bottled up inside them. After all, self-censorshi … Read More

via Minding the Workplace

Recommended Business Ethics Blogs

This is my list of the Business Ethics Blogs that I have been impressed with. Some of these blogs are controversial choices but  I went and looked at some other lists and was pretty shocked by what they thought was relevant. It seems there is no fixed criteria, so I will try to choose as best I can.

My selection process ran like this. I’ve been blogging on this web site for more than a year. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many other bloggers and many were involved in one way or another with business ethics. So, I already had the beginnings of a list from my web contacts and regularly cruising the net for similar web sites to mine. In addition for this project I went to Google and read the first 1200 entries under the search, business ethics blog, and then 2000 entries under the search, business ethics. Nevertheless I do not believe for a moment that this list is complete or will make everyone happy.

If you want to be on it and you’re not, let me know. If you want your blog removed or some particular thing said about it, you should let me know that as well. I have no objection to any reasonable claim. In fact, whether you wish to criticize or praise, comment! The only thing you might want to know when you comment is that I often post comments as blog entries. Now before you assume that I am going to butcher your comment, be aware that I print every word, every comma, exactly as it was written and in full. I may disagree with you but I will not rearrange your writing to diminish the power of your words.

These are in no particular order. Developing criteria to rank these web sites would be a major endeavor, and sure to displease a lot of people. I think I will just content myself with a list.

This list is going to evolve over time so that criticism and recommendations can be incorporated. It is also important that I keep learning about new blogs and new writers and perhaps some older blogs that I missed.

1. Occasional Links & Commentary

This is David F. Ruccio’s Blog. I freely admit being a little dazzled by this web site. The graphic are amazing. It’s all cutting edge and professional looking. I think I could get an inferiority complex if I visit too often. The writing is interesting enlivened by attractive and easily read graphs. Great web site.

2. Lauren Bloom’s Blog, Business Ethics Speaker and Consultant

Ms. Bloom has been in the ethics field for a considerable length of time. This is how she describes herself in her blog:

Beginning in 1992, Lauren spent more than fourteen years as General Counsel of the American Academy of Actuaries, where her practice focused on teaching professionals how to incorporate high ethical standards and principles of good governance into their professional activities. Lauren played a pivotal role in the development and enforcement of the U.S. actuarial profession’s code of conduct and standards of qualification and practice. She also consulted with the International Actuarial Association on its project to develop the first international standards of practice for actuaries. She is widely published in the actuarial profession’s publications, and continues to speak to actuarial firms and association meetings around the United States.

The web site is designed as a practical guide for ethics.

3. The Big Picture Barry Ritholt’s Blog

I like his intro –

The blog is a compendium of what a Wall Street money manager is looking at, thinking about, and writing on. It is written by me (& the crew) for people ranging from investment professionals to media to anyone else interested in investing, markets, and the economy.

It is, by design, laden with facts, statistics, and informed, data-driven opinions. We avoid the squishy, touchy-feely “I think/hope/want” type of fact free analysis so prevalent in the media and on Wall Street.

4. Ethics Forum This web site is written by Alice C. Linsley.

The writing is intelligent. The author is not afraid to write in depth about their subject and writes often. This tends much more to philosophy than to business ethics but there are a good number of articles directly devoted to the subject. Great blog.

5. Chris MacDonald’s The Business Ethics Blog Professor MacDonald’s blog was one of the first ethics sites devoted to business ethics that I found when I started writing my own blog. When I looked around the web trying to find how to do a successful blog I ran continually into his postings. He had been everywhere first. I think this indicates an aggressive intelligence and a willingness to take pains. I cannot pretend neutrality on MacDonald’s work. I have 32 posts recommending one of his essays or his writing in general. I did say one thing about him that sums up a great deal about his blog. I once pointed out that if you wanted the equivalent of a college course in business ethics you only had to read his web postings for a few months.

6. Business, The Canadian Resource for Business Ethics

This is one of Chris MacDonald’s blogs. If you want Canadian ethics site, probably the ultimate web site. However, considering the power of his principal web site, I want to recommend that you go there first.

7. Compliance Building

Doug Cornelius writes this blog. It’s written in an informal way. It is often amusing as well as informative. For instance, for the Christmas season, he has a blog entry discussing the ethics of Santa Claus. It’s updated often and quite intelligent.

Here’s a quote from his post on the Facebook – Goldman Sachs deal –

To me it sounds like Facebook and Goldman have come up with an ingenious solution to the address the capital needs for Facebook and to avoid a public offering of stock. I assume the Goldman investment and its new fund will be used to provide some capital for expansion and growth. I also suspect that some of it will be used to cash out early investors, purchase employee stock, and repurchase stock that has been privately traded. Gobbling up the stock would be an opportunity to keep the number of investors well below the 499 trigger point. Early investors may take their money and run.

8. Business Ethics: The Magazine of Corporate Responsibility

This web magazine is operated by Michael Connor. It is more focused on what corporations should do in ethical dilemmas and often veers into public relations tactics. Nevertheless, some good ethical writing, clever articles and much useful information. The blog dates from 2009 and is updated very regularly.

Here’s the self description from the blog –

A lot has changed in the more than two decades since Business Ethics was founded. Ethics and governance have emerged as front-page news and lead agenda items in corporate board rooms and the halls of Congress. Good corporate citizenship is now studied, advocated and sometimes practiced. Sustainability has become a goal for well-meaning small businesses as well as many of the Fortune 500. Whether that represents real progress is open to debate. The continuing fallout from the recent economic and financial crises is a constant reminder that many systems are not working. There’s plenty to discuss. Business Ethics aims to serve as a guide.

Sam Antar

9. White Collar Fraud

This is the intro to Sam Antar’s White Collar Fraud web site –

There is a saying, “It takes one to know one.” I am a convicted felon, former CPA, and former criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie. Today, I advise law enforcement agencies, professionals, and businesses how to identify fraud and train them to catch the crooks. This blog discusses white-collar crime, securities fraud, financial reporting irregularities, Sarbanes-Oxley, corruption, and other related topics. Irregularities reported here are referred to appropriate government agencies as a whistleblower.

This is a better summation than anything I am likely to write about the blog.

10. Foreclosure Blues

Foreclosureblues is the best foreclosure site on the web. It is edited by Jake Naumer. It’s updated regularly and it’s content is updated regularly. Their choice of material is excellent. The site posts consist of often vital and useful information salted with outrage over the injustice involved. I strongly advocate this blog.

There is a lot of dynamic writing on this sight. It often has the feel of the breaking news in this highly controversial area. Look at this writing sample –

If, in fact, there exists widespread legal failure of securitized mortgage pools, as Mr. Rosner, theorizes, then we are possibly facing the Apocalypse Scenario, calling into question the legal and financial soundness of a large portion of the U.S. securitized mortgage market. Securitized mortgages comprise over half, or $8.9 trillion, of the $14.2 trillion in total U.S. mortgage debt outstanding.

“It may mean investors who think they bought mortgage- backed securities bought securities that aren’t backed by anything,” said Kurt Eggert, a professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. Well, that’s already happened. Check out this lawsuit by MBIA Insurance against Credit Suisse 0ver a bad securitization loan deal.

11. Minding the Workplace, the New Workplace Institute Blog, hosted by David Yamada.

This is one of my favorite blogs. It has lively writing and a sense of mission. David Yamada often focuses on workplace bullying as an issue. He pushes for legislation and other actions in dealing with this problem.

From the blogs “about” page –

This blog is dedicated to news and commentary about work and employment relations.  Dignity at work, workplace bullying, employment & labor law, and psychologically healthy work environments are recurring themes.

12. Ethical Houston

Important disclosure – I consider Franklin Olson to be a friend, so I am biased. I have exchanged e-mails and asked him if he would like to blog on my site.

You may assume safely that I like his writing and value his opinions. His latest writing is on Aristotle and considering my recent explorations into the subject, I feel very pleased about his choice of topic. His articles are guite intelligent, considerably in depth, and written from a Christian perspective. My only complaint is he doesn’t write on a regular schedule. I recommend his site.

13. Ethics Sage (Steven Mintz)

I like Steven Mintz. I like his writing. The evidence of his personal conduct and thought indicate a man whose writing reflects high values. I consider him a benefit to the field of ethics. Another disclosure – we have exchanged thoughts through the medium of the web and he has gone to the trouble of writing me a blog response explaining in some detail the thought of Aristotle. I consider this a favor of a very high order. From my reading of it, he explained it clearly and accurately off the top of his head, his thoughts laid clearly as they had been shaped by teaching the subject over some years. I teach myself and I recognize the accomplishment.

His site is one of the strongest that I have seen on the web when it comes to ethical discussions of current events. For any student this is a treasure of usable research topics and for any casual reader, intelligent comment. You should read this blog.

14. Christopher Lind: The Moral Economy Column

Professor Lind has a book out called, Rumours of a Moral Economy. Follow his links from his blog to find other books and a number of publications.

Here’s an example of his writing –

Relationships on university campuses across Canada are becoming increasingly strained. The long term pressure is a lack of funding to match increasing enrollments. However, faced with that pressure many universities have engaged in behaviours that are neither fair nor transparent. For example, the underfunding of students has reached such a critical level that over 90% of Canadian universities now have food banks on campus. The University of Alberta has had one since 1991, now even the University of Lethbridge has one.

Hundreds of thousands of students rely on student loans to pay their tuition. The governments transmit these funds to the students through the universities who charge the students an administrative fee in turn. I know of one regional Canadian university who budgets almost a quarter of a million dollars annually to be received from these fees. Why should the poorest students be subsidizing the universities with borrowed money? These are the ones relying on food banks to eat. This practice is neither transparent nor fair.

15. Business Ethics Memo Julian Friedland’s blog is well written and fun. I like his attitude. He often aims at current events with great accuracy.

Here’s an example of his writing –

Personally, I’ve always been suspicious of the ethics of for-profit microlending. Its defenders claim that if it were limited to non-profit philanthropy, there would be much less money available to aid the myriad poor villagers in the developing world where it is desperately needed. Capitalism begets capital.

That sounds like a decent utilitarian argument. Trouble is, from a more principle-based position, there is something unseemly about saddling the working poor with interest rates so high they would be considered usurious in the U.S. Indeed, several U.S. states have regulated payday lending rates to below half (24%-36%) of what is common in international microcredit (80%-100% or more). The Federal government makes it illegal to sell payday loans to military personnel at higher than 36% interest.

16. Ethics Alarms

Here’s an example of his writing –

One of the core principles of ethical conduct is that an individual who finds himself in a position to stop wrongdoing has an obligation to do so, regardless of whether he caused the problem or has an official or professional duty to discharge. Fix the problem. Ask questions, blow the whistle, confront the wrongdoer, pressure officials, call in authorities…whatever it takes.  So many of the scandals and disasters we have witnessed in the past— the home mortgage meltdown, the Enron implosion, Abu Ghraib, Bernie Madoff’s scheme, baseball’s steroid scandal, the Catholic Church’s child molestation cover-up, and too many more to list—would have been ended far sooner if someone on the scene had followed through on this ethical imperative.  We don’t know who those people who ducked their responsibilities are; all we know is that lives were ruined because they chose to be passive, and not to act.

17. Christian Business Ethics Bobby Miller’s web site is a rare example of a Christian Ethics web site. When you run a search for Christian business ethics, you get a multitude of hits. The great majority are useless. This one is a good one.

Here’s an example from Miller’s writing.

Take for example, a saying that a lot of business executives and entrepreneurs use to cover-up or fluff-over the evil of their decisions, when made, affects individuals on every personal level. They utter these dreaded words, “It’s not personal, it’s only business”. I personally hate that. Of course it’s personal. When a father or mother goes home and say to their spouse and look into the eyes of their children that they’ve been terminated from work, you bet your bottom dollar that it’s personal. They are hurt and disappointed. Hope is removed from before them. They know that there are going to be rough time ahead. They know that some of the privileges that they had grown accustomed to will fade away in a snap. I thinks it’s a cowardice way of the one severing the relationship truly saying, “I don’t care how my decisions affects you. My business needs, my profit margin, my image or goals are more important that your welfare, or your family’s welfare”. Let me be clear, I am not saying that some executive decisions are not justified. Many [if not most] are justified. What I am talking about is how some employers of late, took advantage of the recent downturn in the economy as a justification to unnecessarily lay-off or fire some of their employees that were faithful servants of their firms, performing their jobs at optimum levels, just to increase the bottom line. At the root cause of their motivation to terminate the employment of these individuals was unashamed greed, on display for all to see.

18. Engineering Ethics Blog Karl Stephan’s blog is excellent writing. But what makes it even better is that he brings an engineering perspective coupled with an ability to explain the subject to those outside the field. I remember his discussion of the technical aspects of the Gulf disaster. He explained what happened in a way that gave me a deeper understanding of the problems inherent in that kind of drilling.

19. Blog: Business Ethics – David Gebler I have enjoyed Gebler’s blog for some time now. I think all interested in the field of ethics should add it to their favorites.

Here’s an example from Gebler’s writing –

Last week GlaxoSmithKline settled a claim with the US Justice Department for $750 million. However, what really made the news was that whistleblower Cheryl Eckard stood to receive $96 million for her efforts.

The concern, as raised in today’s Wall Street Journal, is that with such a potential goldmine on the back end, potential whistleblowers will be going straight to the feds before working through internal channels. For over 20 years major organizations have built extensive ethics and compliance infrastructures, including helplines and ethics training that details the suggested ways to report misconduct.

20. Practical Ethics, Ethical Perspectives on the News This is the University of Oxford’s blog on ethics in the news. As you can imagine the writing is of high quality with many authors.

Here’s an example from the blog written by Bennett Foddy

A new report released by the US Surgeon General last month reminds us that cigarettes are designed with addiction in mind. Tobacco companies infuse tobacco with ammonia so that the nicotine crosses the membranes in the lungs faster, reducing the delay between inhalation and pharmacological effect. They add flavourings like chocolate and vanilla to the blend, knowing that smokers will be more likely to smell something in their food that they associate with smoking, and to feel like lighting up. These tricks are a source of moral outrage for many of us; it seems as though the tobacco companies are exploiting weaknesses in our biology to make us buy things we would not otherwise have bought, and to do things we would not otherwise have done (or would not have done so much). And tobacco executives have often denied engaging in these kinds of tactics.

21. Gael O’Brien The Week in Ethics: Columns in Ethics, Leadership and Life. Gael O’Brien has been writing this blog since 2009. Her “about” blog section describes her this way – Gael O’Brien is a consultant, presenter, author and thought leader on topics related to leadership, ethics, trust, reputation, values, and strategic direction.

Here’s an example of her writing –

McDonald’s may be doing a great deal to address criticism about the link of its food to obesity. And they are only one of a legion of fast food restaurants that offer high sodium, high fat, high sugar, and high calorie foods.

However, there is a tremendous need for leadership here to create healthier ways to prepare food and to offer healthier menus. Kids’ nutrition is a first step. McDonald’s is well positioned to provide that leadership. The lawsuit  isn’t the challenge. The challenge is to find answers to creating healthier food and still be a financially successful company.

Given the enormous power McDonald’s has to shape what is fun and cool to eat, what if they redirected their energy to developing innovative solutions to inexpensive, good-to-eat food that is actually good for children?

22. Rogue Columnist: A Pen Warmed in Hell  This is a big favorite of mine. Jon Talton is outraged by a lot that goes on. So do I. I put him in the business ethics blogs because of his persistent criticism of business practices in Arizona. He doesn’t blog on the subject that often but when he does, it is memorable.

Here’s an example

I overheard this conversation: “Is there some way I can short Arizona? I asked my broker and she said she will be on a conference call next week with a manager of two funds that invest in Arizona munis who are considering selling the entire portfolio…” And yet, Arizona hasn’t yet paid the full price for the Kookocracy being in power, for its cruel policies, for its inflaming hatred and violence. The national college football championship will be played at the stadium in Glendale, built with taxpayer money to enrich private sprawl developers. Tourism has apparently rebounded from the anti-immigrant law. Arizona just gets away with it and too much of what passes for the leadership in the state just goes with the flow. The vulnerable and sick, the working poor, the competitive future — these all pay the price. Gabby Giffords, a smart centrist who supported gun rights, paid. So did federal Judge John Roll, who had received threats from the white-right over immigration rulings. But when will Arizona pay for what it has become?

23. Thinking Ethics Beth Krasna edits this exploration of ethics issues. Now beware, a quick look indicates only a handful of posts. You have to go to the categories column on the right side of the page and click on the appropriate topic to pull up those kinds of posts. Once you know to do that, you find a great deal of material.

24. Chapman Sife: Business Ethics Blog

This is a Facebook site which is an unusual choice for me but the students and other contributors range the Internet and find some fascinating stuff. Because of this, I include it. It’s good site in terms of its exploration of other articles and other thoughts.

25. Too Much, A Commentary on Excess and Inequality

Each and every week, Too Much explores excess and inequality, in the United States and throughout the world. We cover a wide swatch of territory, everything from the latest executive pay outrage to the most current research insights on how staggering income and wealth divides are impacting our health and our happiness.

This blog calls for income equality and regularly publishes blog entries rich on supporting data and history as some informative and clearly presented graphs. I believe the wide class differences in wealth in the United States are destroying democracy and damaging the fabric of society. Thus, I see it as pursuing ethical business policies. So, it gets included.