Ethics Newspaper Columnists – Round Up 7/30/10

Keith Chrostowski writing for the Kansas City Star has an article contemplating the likelihood of deflation, an economic malady, an unknown experience for Americans as the last time it happened was before our generation and the generation before that were born. He hopes that optimism in the minds of consumers will avert this but looking at his story I am more struck by the enormous cash reserves held by major corporations and their unwillingness to invest it in this country.

Edward Lotterman writing for Twin Cities has a wonderful article explaining a basic concept of economics, comparative advantage. It is also used as an argument for free trade. Whether you believe in free trade or not it is a good read by a very competent teacher of economics. (Warning – Lotterman’s Twin Cities web site does not allow me to link you to the individual articles just to his columns as a whole, so you may have to work your way into the archives unless you are reading this before he writes his next column.)

Jon Talton writing for the Seattle Times explains the concept of indigenous innovation rules. Read his explanation but it all boils down to they can sell to us but we can’t sell to them.

Barry Ritholtz writing for the web site, The Big Picture, explains that we are really just pants wearing monkeys (really) and that knowing and understanding that can keep us out of trouble. (He may be writing provocatively here.)

Newspaper Ethics Roundup 6/30/10

Loren Steffy wonders if British Petroleum naming a drilling rig, Crazy Horse (not the smartest move), decided to misrepresent to the tribes in Colorado the amount of oil it was getting out of the ground.

Jon Talton explains how the loss of manufacturing jobs makes the recovery more difficult and may cause long term damage as our position as a manufacturer deteriorates as opposed to other powers such as China.

Keith Chrostowski writes about creative capitalism.

Jay Hancock discusses the importance in the electronics field of an excellent knowledgeable sales force (particularly if you fired the ones you had).

Edward Lotterman discusses “external costs” and “imperfect information.” These are important and basic economic concepts. He discusses them accurately, simply and in a straightforward manner. If you read any of these pieces, read this one.

David Moon explains scientific research into where in the brain investment decisions are made and why we like to agree with others.

Newspaper Columnists I Follow

FThese are my current choices among newspaper columnists. There are going to be a lot of changes over time. It’s taking me a lot of reading to find authors who delve into ethics (which I believe includes reporting and explaining evil doing with a requisite level of outrage). Some that at first appear to be promising turn out to be less than level headed if read for a length of time. Each columnist, once discovered, is favorited to an intermediate category and only moved to my regular reading after a period of probation. I was writing one of my regular recommended authors when I pointed out that I seldom criticize and my writing tends to be very complimentary. So, I wanted him to know that I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings (there is little people are more sensitive about than their writing) and bad writing carries its own reward. If I find writing offensive, incompetent or crankish, it gets deleted from my favorites never to be seen again. I think that counts as criticism.

MY CHOICES
Mitchell Schnurman of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Loren Steffy of the Houston Chronicle (He has a Blog and a column.)
Jon Talton of the Seattle Times. His column is called, Sound Economy.
Keith Chrostowski of the Kansas City Star.
Jay Hancock of the Baltimore Sun. (He combines the occasional item related to ethics with consumer advocacy on consumer and sometimes very local issues, so he will only appear when I believe he is on point.)
Edward Lotterman writes for Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
David Moon writes for the Knoxville News.

Ethics Round Up – Newspapers – 6/8/10 Tuesday

Tony Pugh in a new article he wrote for McClatchy cites a new report that calls for reorganization at the Food and Drug Administration, a new emphasis on enforcement and a focus on detecting food problems before they get into distribution.

McClatchy was kind enough to include links to two other reports, The Long-Term Health Outcomes of Selected Foodborne Pathogens and Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration.

Don Blankenship of Massey Energy goes on the offensive stopping just short of claiming that the federally mandated fan system for clearing methane gas caused the accident in the coal mine where 29 miners died. (The comments to this article are not friendly and as of this time, he has not a single supporter.) This is a pdf file of the letter Blankenship sent to four governors.

Mitchell Schnurman writing on McClatchy’s home page section commentary suggests that since this country is in budgetary trouble that we stop giving money to private corporations. (Sounds good to me.)

Loren Steffy writing in the Houston Chronicle discusses the probably bankruptcy and end game for British Petroleum.

Jon Talton discusses the effect a massive increase in city fees for a skyway might have on a department store. It’s business ethics at its most basic level. Who should pay taxes? How much? How should the amount be calculated?

Keith Crowstowski writing for the Kansas City Star explains the corrosive effect of crony capitalism. This is some fine writing. I strongly recommend it.

Who Caused The Economic Crisis?

Who Caused The Economic Crisis?

Keith Chrostowski writing for the Kansas City Star has definite opinions. He portrays a debate between two possible causes, main street or wall street. Who, he asks, should get the blame? It’s amusing and unsettling and it might make you mad, therefore, you should read it.

James Pilant

Let’s hear one more time, the great patron saint of Wall Street ethics: