This assignment is in lieu of reading Chapter 11 (but you are welcome to)
After watching all of these short videos, post a short paragraph on your thoughts / insights on the dilemma, if you think the discussion was accurate, and your position on the comments. Be sure to include the reference to which video you are discussing. Scroll to the bottom when you are ready to post. Responses to your classmates are not required, but encouraged.
Ethical Dilemmas in the Workplace: The Ethics Guy on ABC News
Peter Singer – Drowning Child
Noam Chomsky – The Alternative to Capitalism
Noam Chomsky – Why Marijuana is Illegal and Tobacco is Legal
39 Comments for “M11 Final”
I thought that the first video involving ethical dilemmas in the workplace on the question from Kathy, this is a good question due to many people have so many similar dilemmas if not worse situations as to why one was “let go” or “fired”. I have to agree with “The Ethics Guy”, he made a great point about integrity but we often times do have issues due to people discriminating or not wanting to give someone that second chance at an opportunity on how that candidate could help that firm. Practicing your speech can go along way especially if you know that your last job didn’t end on good terms at least so that one can be well prepared to WOW that potential employer with solid reason and to debunk job discrimination theory.
Yes, I thought Kathy’s question was a good one. Although, I have never been personally fired, before this video I honestly never thought about how I should handle that situation if it ever were to happen. As you mentioned and so did the video, integrity is huge and an applicant should focus on how they can benefit the company rather than wallowing in the past. I also agree that practicing makes a huge difference and may help give that “WOW” factor. Thanks for sharing kenyetta, appreciated your perspective.
Noam Chomsky’s video on the Alternative to Capitalism was particularly interesting to me. I think he made a great point when covering a few alternatives to state capitalism where he mentioned that there are aren’t major discussions of these options. His reasoning for this was that these alternatives are avoided because they conflict with “the structure of existing power systems.” This seems very true to me. I can’t think of many open discussions that I’ve heard about alternatives to our state capitalism in the United States. I think this shows that Chomsky’s discussion is accurate and that this is party because people are uncomfortable with change, so changing a very large national system seems unthinkable like he mentioned.
I am responding to the ethical dilemma of tobacco being legal but marijuana being illegal. Noam is correct, but there are other better arguments to why it should be legal. I feel like he wasn’t trying to argue marijuana should be legal, but instead just explained why he thinks it became illegal. My reason that marijuana should be legal stems from my libertarian belief that if you aren’t harming anyone or putting others at risk, you should be allowed to do what ever you want on your own time. Another argument to why it should be legal is that nobody has ever overdosed on marijuana while there are 400,000 deaths a year from tobacco, 100,000 from alcohol, 45,000 from legal drugs, 20,000 from illegal drugs, 2,000 from caffeine, and 500 from Aspirin. Another reason it and all drugs should be legal is that keeping them illegal leads to black markets and criminal organizations like the cartels, which kill more people EACH YEAR than all the people killed in all our wars in the middle east combined. In every country that has decriminalized drugs has shown no increase in drug use, while lowering HIV rates by over 90%, lowering overdose rates, and reducing prison populations. Legalizing it would have all these same benefits plus, it would get rid of the criminal enterprises, make the drugs more pure as to keep people from overdosing on cut product, let people use drugs in dedicated safe locations monitored by local health agencies, and let the United States make billions of dollars in revenue. Just like prohibition, the failure of the war on drugs has shown us that people who want to use drugs are going to find and use them one way or another, you might as well profit from it; right now we are hemorrhaging money because of our policies. The United States is supposed to be the leader of the free world, but it has more people per capita in prisons than all other free nations, noting that ~50% of all those imprisoned are in for non-violent drug related crimes.
Jordan Van Treesesays:
I am responding to the dilemma of the drowning child (2nd video). This can be correlated into very broad ways, from ethics to economics (capitalist, state-capitalist, socialist, etc.) It is an interesting dilemma in that your response to the drowning child mostly depends on your viewpoint on responsibility, especially a responsibility to act. In the literal drowning child scenario, the child is placed in front of you with not other means to survive other than intervening on your own. You bear the sole weight of making the decision as to whether that child will live or die. Naturally it will be easy for most to say that of course they would save the child from drowning. They feel as if they are given the responsibility of action and they must take that opportunity to act and save the child. However, that does not translate as well for many when relating that scenario to the real life problem of child deaths on our planet. Because those dying children are not placed in front of those individuals it will be easier for individuals to not take responsibility of their wellbeing. Those dying children will not be at the forefront of people’s minds, especially those individuals who could make the difference between life or death. Is it the responsibility of those who are more fortunate to intervene? If it were me, I would like to think I would do everything in my power to save children on the verge of death. This scenario becomes trickier however if the voluntary responsibility of helping those in need turns to forced action in order to intervene. I do not believe there is currently a solution to this conundrum, only that we should encourage those who are able to help in any way they can.
After watching all of these short videos, post a short paragraph on your thoughts / insights on the dilemma, if you think the discussion was accurate, and your position on the comments. Be sure to include the reference to which video you are discussing. Scroll to the bottom when you are ready to post. Responses to your classmates are not required, but encouraged.
The video I am responding to is the clip pertaining to the drowning child dilemma. I find it to be an interesting comparison, and my initial reaction was to compare it to the welfare situation in the United States. While I do consider this an accurate analogy, I become instantly irritated with the finer details of this issue. As a society as a whole I believe that we have an obligation to assist those less fortunate, but that the implementation of this assistance causes many problems. I began working part time jobs at 14, and by 17 years old full time jobs, with no family assistance, all while attending college. However, when circumstances outside of my control left me with a period of time with no income, any federal or state assistance was denied to me based on my previous income, or the income of my family. This is a particularly vexing situation when some of my coworkers would turn down additional hours, or full time work, because it would provide to much income for them to obtain food stamps.
I like your perspective, this is quite a dilemma; compassion for the less fortunate (truly less fortunate) accompanied by victim mentality of abled-body workers that refuse to work overtime/enough to kick them off a free handout. At some point we all should be cognizant of where our tax money is going. It sounds like you have a strong work ethic, that motivates me to keeping mine. Best of luck with your endeavors. Stay strong, the end will prove worthy of your efforts.
Noam Chromsky- Why Marijuana is illegal and Tobacco is Legal
I think that Chromsky made a valid point. Both marijuana and tobacco are both a mind-altering drug. Today we have learned that marijuana has health benefits where at tobacco still does not. Yet the Federal government still has marijuana as an illegal drug. Tobacco has no health benefit and in fact it is worse on your lungs than smoking a joint. However, I have never heard of anyone getting killed while the driver was under the influence of tobacco. I do think that Chromsky point on not being able to use marijuana as an income back then makes sense, but I also think that was only part of the it.
It appears Noam Chomsky has been hiding in a vacuum for the last several decades. Although tobacco is indeed potent and dangerous, it is not mind altering as is marijuana, thus the push to keep it out of the workplace. If the emphasis was to stop unhealthy decisions, then yes, stop the use of tobacco… and marijuana since they both contain many of the same dangerous cancer causing chemicals. On the surface, tobacco and marijuana are not so vastly different for the health concerns as he points out.
As for the second video from Mr. Chomsky The Alternative to Capitalism, he brings out points that say we are not a true capitalist society with validity. His alternatives do bear consideration, however his end statement of moving toward an anarchists type society points out a dangerous outcome. No single person could contend with any foreign power with any authority of the entire nation making the US vulnerable to attack without ability to thwart the attack.
I’ll address these two videos on a national scale since his comments are for the good of our nation. If our nation is to have any strength, we have got to stop giving lunatics the microphone. This speak of division and change because a person doesn’t like the way of our society breeds dissension and detracts from any real issue at hand. Listen to his speak; “tobacco is most lethal substance around second to sugar.” According to Healthline (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/too-much-sugar) in paraphrasing, too much sugar is bad for you, not sugar itself. This is a poor contrast for tobacco and the cancer causing agents produced from its use. American people are obese because we make poor choices with sugar, but to say sugar is the culprit only detracts from the issue of living an undisciplined life. It does not appear ethical at all to spew unsubstantiated comments as facts to an unwitting crowd.
I thought your response to the videos was really interesting, especially in terms of Noam Chomsky’s The Alternative to Capitalism. At first I agreed with your perspective about his seemingly flippant remark about anarchism. However, I thought about it more, and I think I understand better what he was trying to say with that remark. Anarchism fundamentally is about getting rid of unjust hierarchy, and in this video Chomsky is talking about how workplaces are run currently. He then went on to talk about companies that are run without the structure of having a boss with employees, but in one where the employees are equal owners of the business. If I am understanding the video correctly, he was saying that if we move business towards the second model then we would be moving in a more anarchist direction; i.e. an economic system with less hierarchy. Anyway, thank you for writing a comment that made me think.
Peter Singer makes the case that when the well-off turn a blind eye to the suffering of the world’s poor, it is morally equivalent to walking past a small child drowning in a shallow pond. 
Very few things are all or nothing, or represent the same situation for each of us. It is tempting to say that the two situations are not morally equivalent. In the first instance, you know that the child will be saved if you act; however, in the second case there is less certainty about the result, and a question of how much impact any single person can have. I think that many people do feel helpless in the face of widespread and systemic problems like poverty that can’t be solved with money alone. My first instinct was to pass over this difficult subject. I feel bad about how much people are suffering, and know that I’m not doing enough. But I chose to write about it because it’s hard to solve problems without paying attention and becoming informed. Not knowing about situations which we are a part of doesn’t let us off the hook morally, and the fact that we can’t solve problems single-handedly doesn’t either. We should still do whatever we can to help others, even if they’re strangers, even if we aren’t sure it will work. This is in keeping with utilitarian ethics. Not that we should continually sacrifice our own happiness for others, but Americans in particular are very far removed from that level of self-denial.
In the case of poverty, there are actions people can take other than donating money.
Climate change and other environmental problems like pollution affect the poor a great deal and contribute to childhood mortality. Minimizing our environmental footprint is a good way to prevent harm. So is supporting policies that promote peace and refusing to support war and weapons in Yemen and other countries. Closer to home for most of us, exhaust from cruise ships fouls the air in places like Long Beach and contributes to childhood asthma. From Kant’s categorical imperative principal, harming your neighbor’s health is universally unacceptable.
Noam Chomsky’s video about alternatives to capitalism ties into this topic; because of the way modern economic systems are structured, there’s a lot of concentrated power which makes it hard to address poverty. It’s hard enough to help others, let alone make it possible for them to help themselves, which is what they need most. But this post isn’t supposed to be lengthy so I’ll conclude by saying that there are often reasons that people and systems which fail to act upon problems like poverty, or act in ways that make things worse.
Regarding the tobacco versus marijuana video, I think marijuana was and is still federally illegal because of the profit people make off those who are incarcerated for it. I also believe the rich likely lobby against it being legal because they would not profit from it. It opens up another market, with people who were not likely to go into business themselves, an opportunity to obtain a fair share. I feel like it should have been legal for years. As far as mind altering, I know the chemicals in cigarettes do affect dopamine, but it is not as mind altering as marijuana. I feel like alcohol is a better comparison for marijuana in that regard. Alcohol really affects a person’s behavior and personality, depending on how much they consume. My personal experience with marijuana was more comparable to alcohol than to cigarettes. I think if anything should be illegal it should be cigarettes because it is killing so many people annually and it’s so powerfully addictive that people really struggle to quit smoking them. As far as death count, cigarettes and alcohol take the cake! Deaths associated with marijuana are close to zero. There is something definitely morally wrong with this entire situation.
It’s interesting how you say there’s a profit to be made in America’s justice system. In my opinion, I disagree; in fact, majority of the issues with the justice system is due to lack of funding (i.e. no transition system for inmates to succeed post-jail). In the video, he mentions the government wouldn’t be able to truly control the taxation of marijuana since it can be grown anywhere. Do you have any suggestions to help mediate the concern?
For the purpose of this discussion board, I will be addressing the second video, the ethical dilemma of the drowning child. As I listened to Peter Singer tell the story of the drowning child, my gut reaction was anyone in their right mind should save the child no matter the cost. However, Singer goes on to express that those who live in poverty may struggle with this situation more than those in the middle class because shoes are a luxury, not an easy, replaceable commodity. Furthermore, Singer continues to express the middle class does not make great efforts to help those in poverty. In fact, many children die due to the circumstances surrounding poverty in America (mediavoicesforchildr, 2010). After listening to the second half of the video, my mindset shifted.
Although this video does not directly correspond to workplace ethics, I believe the general message is that individual circumstances change the perception of ethical behavior. A great example is the cycle nature of prison. For example, people in prison are extremely likely to return to prison because once they are released, they are on their own. If they didn’t have housing before they went to jail and got in trouble for stealing food, it is likely the person will recommit the crime because their situation hasn’t changed. Due to circumstance, the person is forced to behave this way to survive. Does it make their actions ethical or does it reflect on a broader, national issue? In my opinion, I believe this video and the aforementioned example reflect a broader, national issue. Unfortunately, America was founded on individualistic, “pick yourself up by the bootstraps” mentality that infringes upon the nation’s ability to work together and support one another. With this in mind, the ethical determination of situations like this are best guided by egoism. According to Shaw (2017), egoism denotes an action morally acceptable if the action promotes the person’s individual interests. Clearly, Singer’s story of the drowning child and my example above is best supported by egoism.
mediavoicesforchildr. (2010, May 4). Drowning Child [YouTube]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCgmPRxUYDY&feature=emb_title
Shaw, W. (2017). Business ethics: Ninth edition. Cengage Learning.
I have chosen to respond to the video discussing Ethics in the Workplace involving the Ethics Guy. Although all the other videos were very informative and interesting to listen to, I feel as if I have more experience and can relate to ethical issues in the workplace. People leave jobs for a multitude of reasons or have been “fired” or “let go” for a number of reasons too. Sadly, jobs do talk to one another and it’s important like the Ethics Guy mentioned to have integrity and to be honest, but also not to disrespect and talk horribly about a previous employer. It can be difficult to discuss and find the proper and appropriate way to word what you want to say, so like mentioned it is important to practice and be prepared for any questions that are thrown your way. At the end of the day, we are all humans and make mistakes and leave jobs for a number of reasons.
Bruce Weinstein made some good points and had sound advice which can be applied to several situations, not just the one that came up. The biggest thing to take away is the importance of integrity. Being honest without incriminating yourself can be hard in some situations, but ultimately honesty is the best possibility. There may be a temporary gain, like being hired, but not being honest can and most likely will lead to negatives later. Being direct and bringing the focus to what you can bring to the table, was good advice. Not to mention, the best companies to work for will be the same ones that respect and appreciate honesty. This is something else he hinted at.
This whole thing reminds me of a personal antidote. There was a time when I was a young soldier and I made a profoundly serious mistake. It was something that, despite being a complete accident, usually resulted in serious punishment. My supervisor and his supervisor were right there. Before anyone else figured out what had happened, I immediately announced and explained the mistake. Instead of destroying my career, they took action to fix the situation, and later told me that “If it wasn’t for my integrity, I would have been …” let’s just say a lot of trouble. Integrity is an unbelievably valuable and highly respected quality in any organization. Being ethical does pay.
TheEthicsGuy. (July 8th, 2010). Ethical dilemmas in the workplace: the ethics guy on ABC News. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgBmV6PeK0Q&feature=youtu.be
After viewing the video clips the one that I thought had the most interesting take on an ethical dilemma was the Drowning Child clip with Peter Singer. He creates an interesting comparison between saving a drowning child at the cost of your shoes, and addressing the global issues that result in the deaths of many children every day. Personally I’m not sure I agree with this comparison, and I don’t know that you can view the two situations as equal. With a child drowning in front of you there is a simple, immediate, and direct action you can take to save that child, it’s a straightforward situation. When it comes to something like poverty creating a lack of access to healthcare resulting in the death of a child, where would an average individual even start to address that? You can vote with that in mind and hope that appropriate political action is taken, you can try to donate money and hope that the charity isn’t a scam or that is actually effective at its mission, or any number of other activities that may or may not actually help. It quickly becomes far more complicated than jumping into a pond to save a child that it in immediate peril in front of you. It feels like the ethical choice to try to help children in both situations, but determining an actual ethical action to take in the global scenario is extremely complicated.
After watching the video I first felt, oh yeah, save the drowning child! And as the clip suggests, that is a typical reaction. The overwhelming global crises of children unjustly passing is indeed different in that for most of us, it is not directly in front of us triggering the fright or flight response. I do believe that if a snap of the finger and a donation at the price of a pair of shoes would solve the problem, most global citizens would not hesitate. Given the complicated nature, political, scams, access, and nature it is something that will have to be figured out another way; perhaps by self-managed enterprises.
I am responding to Peter Singer’s video. In the video Mr. Singer presented a very interesting philosophical/ethical dilemma about saving a drowning child. The premise of this situation is to get people to really think and realize whether or not they would help out a child in danger without personally being put at risk other than being put at a minor inconvenience. Most people would say that they would go into the water and save the drowning child ad could always just buy a new pair of shoes if they were damaged in the process. However, when Mr.Singer posed the same ethical dilemma in a feasible real-world solution it is a lot harder to have the same response. Mr. Singer proposed that American’s that are financially comfortable should be able to give money to help end the poverty related deaths of children. If everyone gave the amount of money to get new pair of shoes or taken our clothes to the cleaners in scenario #1 then we could provide children that are living in poverty with basic necessities such as healthcare and adequate food. However, even though I was I was one to agree with Mr. Singer about saving the drowning child in scenario #1 I would be less inclined to give money to help children simply because of the fact that I am not personally seeing my money make a difference. People tend to be more inclined to give a helping hand if they can see the impact their contribution made. Is it the ethically correct? Probably not, but I like how Mr. Peter Singer proposed the two ethical scenarios.
In Noam Chomsky’s video “The Alternative to Capitalism”, he outlines a few examples in US business of alternates to capitalism. He claims first that true capitalism dose not exist and what we have is state capitalism. His examples of how the government controls aspects of business by means of bailouts, political decisions to outsource technologies, and employee wages illustrate his point of view. One of the examples he gives for an alternative is the rise of self-managed enterprises. These types of organizations are not considered the largest of firms, however, have foreseeable capabilities of accomplishing large current issue problems such as climate change and efficient and effective transportation by means of different social and economic decisions. This is an ethical dilemma of going against the social norm of state capitalism as self-managed enterprises avoid state inflicted norms. I think a valid point on his position on self-managed enterprises is made and I agree with it.
In Noam Chomsky’s video on capitalism, he brings up several good points. First of all, Chomsky points out how our government intervenes in our capitalist system to the point that it is not a true form of capitalism. I agree with this point. However, Chomsky goes on to claim that wage labor is not that different from slavery because you are renting yourself. Quite frankly, this is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. Slavery is involuntary labor and one of the worst atrocities humanity has ever committed. We all go to work voluntarily. While some may say that it isn’t truly voluntary because of the need for money; my position is that we all owe society something and the fact that we are practically free to choose whatever job we want means we are not slaves.
What an interesting topic that was discuss in the first video about ethical dillemas in the workplace. They really did bring up a at point, when is it ok or is it ok at all to tell the truth about why you left your previous job? I feel like a lot of potential employers looks at the applicants last employment to make a determination whether they offer you the position or not and that is just my opinion otherwise they should have not ask. I feel like if employers use your very last employment as a basis of whether you get the job or not is not fair, because it can potentially undermines the jobs that you have had and did great in the past, even if let say you did get fired from your very last place of employment.
I am discussing the tobacco versus marijuana video. I think there is a lot of truth to what Noam Chomsky said. For a long time, there was no real incentive to make marijuana legal. As there was no clear way to guarantee that the profit was worth the cost to lobby for it, what was clear to politicians is the headache that it would cause. You have a large number of people incarcerated on charges related to using and distribution related to marijuana would be making marijuana legal set a precedent to have these individual free. Would that change end up affecting other policies and legislation? Would it affect the police department would it reduce the amount of arrest made per year? Would that cut police funding what would happen to all of the jobs affected by these decisions? Would the amount earned from taxation cover the of the damage caused by legalization? It was unclear what value will be brought, but what was clear was the headache that would ensure after. The problem was not whether or not marijuana was good or bad, and there is no real reason to compare it to cigarettes; it just comes down cost vs. benefits. After some states have legalized and the money that it has made the states and politicians letting other states work out the kinks and allow others to have a clear understanding of the cost and benefits, more states are willing to legalize marijuana.
Noam Chomsky – Why is Marijuana Illegal and Tobacco Legal?
I enjoyed how Mr. Chomsky’s approach on this topic and demeanor was very calm, and laid back, and candid like he was a connoisseur on the subject. He never tried to make a case of why marijuana should be legalized but instead just stated his theory and laid out his facts. I’ve always believe that marijuana was illegal solely because it couldn’t be taxed.
Mr. Chomsky theory is very enlightening because he included several additional other things that I hadn’t considered such as how easy it is to grow marijuana, all of the other businesses that profit from supporting the tobacco business, and if everyone were allowed to grow tobacco then it wouldn’t generate the level of profit that it does now.
Although Mr. Chomsky video is a bit dated now because marijuana laws have started to change in most states I’m interested in seeing how things will play once marijuana becomes legal in all states.
I thought that Noam Chomsky’s discussion about American capitalism was very interesting, especially how it fits into the history of the United States. His perspective is that true capitalism doesn’t (and has never really existed) in the United States, but that the state has kept a form of capitalism in our society since the industrial revolution. I do agree with him on this point, that we do have a mixed economy that isn’t only capitalist (as the state does enforce some regulations and restrictions on businesses). I also agree with him that private owners of industry are afraid of workers owning their own labor, and maintain the hierarchy of the business structure in order to maintain the current system. This also ties into the United States’ very individualistic nature, we grow up learning that in order to do well in life it is up to you as an individual. Other cultures have different perspectives in this regard and think that the society (and community) have a duty to ensure everyone’s success. The video also compared wage labor to chattel slavery, which I thought was interesting, though I don’t know if I really agree with that. I do to a certain extent think that wage labor has some similarities to slavery in terms of the fact that one (in many cases) has to work and rely on their labor to survive. However, there is still choice involved that would not be present in chattel slavery. Overall, this video was really interesting and made me look at things from a different perspective.
While all of these videos offer some very good perspectives to write about this week, I feel like Peter Singer’s “Drowning Child” video resonated the most with me. I do believe this is a very appropriate video for this course and business ethics because it challenges the audience to be mindful of social status and real gaps that exist between them in addition to applying this theme to many other scenarios.
For example, in my organization there exists a dichotomy in many evaluations for the prestigious LAFD Medal of Valor. A committee is formed of very experienced members who review the circumstances of each candidates action, decisions, and behaviors then deem whether the member(s) will receive the Medal of Valor or Medal of Merit (not a medal but a recognition of extreme efforts that reduced the risk of injury or likely death to another person).
One of our most recent Medal of Valor winners posed a similar analogy to Mr. Singer’s scenario. The member was operating at the scene of a structure fire of a 1-story, single-family home that was heavily involved with fire. Early into the incident the member was tasked with forcible entry and to open all portals of entry (windows and doors). The mode of operation for this heavily involved structure fire was a “defensive” posture which means that all resources are not to enter the structure until the transition to “offensive” posture is announced by the Incident Commander. This member, believed he heard something/someone inside a sealed window calling for help. He then proceeded to break the window and enter the structure without announcing his actions or taking in additional suppression equipment (hose line, backup, etc). A couple of minutes later, the member emerged at the same window with an unconscious occupant of the house. The great news is the occupant ended up making a full recovery after a lengthy stay in a local hospital.
Indeed the independent actions of this member were courageous and the outcome was ideal. The ethical question that supervisor’s have with situations like these is if this member had not found anyone inside and was significantly injured during this action, the situation would be viewed completely differently than it was. Instead of being recommended and eventually awarded the Medal of Honor, he would most likely be reprimanded and disciplined for his dangerous independent actions and choices, since a different outcome could have jeopardized the safety of others that would potentially have to enter the dangerous environment to retrieve him. Again it is easy to look at the actions and outcomes and say absolutely, give the individual the medal, but ethics challenge you to evaluate the whole situation and the impact(s) that our individual decisions, behaviors, and actions can have on others. Would I go in as this member did, more than likely yes. However, as a supervisor, I would have made direct coordination with the incident commander and halted defensive actions and transitioned from a “property saving mode” to a “life-saving mode.”
I really like your post about this video! I agree with many points you made especially about being aware of both sides of the story. Your imbedding of information on the Medal of Valor was something I was not aware of but it is good information to know!
In Chomsky’s drug video, the idea that drug policy was designed to indirectly sway people from soft drugs to hard drugs is a little hard to follow. I for one, could not give government that much credit. I believe that government will always try to do what is seen as most favorable of the general electorate and donor interests. Banning certain drugs is a good intentioned policy that does not work generally, but gets people of power notoriety and positions in office. If as Chomsky alluded to, drug policy is in fact directed to get people to stop using “soft drugs” and move towards “harder” taxed drugs we would not see the modern industrialization of the marijuana industry we see today. Given that American drug policy did not change substantially over the second half of the 20th century on the grounds of prohibition of drugs like weed in particular.
In the video Chomsky also points out that there is no capitalistic interest in marijuana when it is a weed compared to Tobacco that can be grown industrially and is climate specific. In fact we are seeing today that weed is Industrializing. If you have been around Fairbanks over the last five years, you can see that this industry has in fact flourished.
I agree partially with your assessment. Where our system derails is when a specific individual or group positions themselves to influence a policy that can reliably benefit them directly. As we see in these days plenty of corporations and special interest groups can easily influence what becomes legal and illegal. Back around 1920 when fear of marijuana was starting to really pick up speed a single individual, Harry Anslinger, who ended up as the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics led a very successful campaign to eventually get the drug banned nationwide. In this case, a single individual created a system that would be used to negatively impact a large percentage of our population for decades to come.
David Cheek Discussion
I chose the alternative to capitalism video. The individual explains that we do not purely have a capitalist system and that it would fail if we did. Ours is more of state ran capitalist system because the government intervenes to keep private companies viable. Bailouts were mentioned in the video. The U.S. has used bailouts for the banking and auto industries somewhat recently. With the current economical issue, we got going on, I could see them bailing out larger corporations soon if it is not already in the works (especially oil and airlines). In my opinion a capitalist system only works for the already rich. He mentions that wage labor is not entirely different than chattel slavery, which I agree with. I know the mass consensus is that slavery is bad, and we should never had done it. However, if you take the abuse out of the textbook then it is bad but not so bad. Typical slave day is to wake up, work, go home, eat, then go to bed. That is exactly what I am doing now, but if I lose my job then there is no home to go to or food to eat. I would almost rather have a guaranteed job, food, and shelter rather than how things are now. From an ethical standpoint capitalism, I feel is more of an egoism and those in charge are only looking out for their self-interest. Which could be good or bad for those involved depending on where you are in the transactions. I think the U.S. state ran capitalism is attempting more of a utilitarianism point of few by being involved to bring the most happiness to everyone. Although, ultimately you will only hear about the people that are not happy.
Noam Chomsky – Why Marijuana is Illegal and Tobacco is Legal
It appears the consensus would like to argue Noam Chomsky’s, “Why Marijuana is Illegal and Tobacco is Legal”. I will jump on the bandwagon. I agree with Chomsky that marijuana remains illegal in some states and tightly controlled in others, not for its potent, life-threating, addictive effects but for optimized monetary gain. With stringent laws against marijuana remaining, an easier drug of choice is opioids. This so-called War on Drugs is as convincing as someone peeing on my leg and telling me that it is raining. Just two years ago, 2018, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that 128 people in US die every day from opioid overdose. NIH also reports that a staggering 78.5 billion dollars is spent as a result of prescription opioid misuse deemed as an “economic burden” for the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice involvement.” Much like tobacco, prescription opioids are extremely addictive, easy to obtain, and are legal! The difference in tobacco and opioids is that tobacco takes time to kill leaving the consumer ample time to support big tobacco companies healthy profit margin whereas opioids have proven themselves with high turnover rate. Big pharma is not hurting at all despite the high death count, just as another one bites the dust, a ready and willing soldier is stepping up to take their place. Money over everything including lives!
Opioid Overdose Crisis. (2020 May 27). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
After watching the video about the drowning child, the dilemma it poses isn’t obvious to me. Im my opinion, if I saw a drowning child in the water, I would not care about my shoes, clothes or even the risk of some animal getting to me, I would save the child. I understand the instance that this child could be trying to get out of a bad situation or something like that, but there are ways to come back from bad situations. Second chances are usually the best chance for someone. This video also makes you understand that even though it might feel better on your conscience to save the child, the child might not want to be saved if they are a low income, getting beaten, being trafficked or any other circumstance. This topic makes you think about being aware of both sides and knowing that sometimes just because something is right in your mind, doesn’t always mean it is right in someone else’s mind.
I watched the second video of the ethical dilemma of the drowning kid and i believe it is ethically wrong to not save the child. The life of a human being is vast more important then a pair of shoes. Having most people who have children buy many shoes for there children, i believe those people will have no problems jumping in to save the child. If the child was trying to conflict this danger to themselves then i believe still jumping in and finding an alternative route to take after saving the child from drowning is an ethical action to take. A normal citizen will do anything in its power to help save that child from drowning. It would probably cause a big scene attracting more people that would also help, if this was a perfect world. This dilemma is a no brainer for me as i would jump in to help save a child, i do believe almost everyone would do that and wouldn’t think twice of there shoes. There phones and keys that are programed and are probably more expensive then the shoes on there feet. Not even thinking twice these people would jump in and not realize till later they have expensive technology in there possession. But the feeling of saving a child would be worth the damages.
Student: Amanda Hanson
In response to Noam Chomsky’s Alternative to Capitalism, I agree there could be effective alternatives to our current “state capitalism” system. I also agree that these alternate systems have a hard time getting a strong foothold because they threaten the existing power systems. Other systems would require a strong ethical foundation and personal accountability on behalf of the participants. On a much smaller scale, I have discussed building a small retirement community with some close friends of mine. In a perfect situation we would each have our own homes with common areas such as an event space and a community garden. However, in this scenario, we would all need to be equally committed to the success of the community. It would need a set of governing rules to involve a division of work schedule, use and cleanliness standards for the event space, and crop dispersal guidelines. Unfortunately, rules, guidelines, and standards must also be accompanied by disciplinary guidelines. Even with these systems in place, it is necessary for each of us to feel responsible for our parts in the community and act on them accordingly.
Unfortunately, on a large national or global scale, I’m not sure how the same level of accountability can be applied to individuals. As a result, I don’t believe we will have the opportunity to enjoy a system beyond our current “state capitaliam
Heidi L Livengoodsays:
The Drowning Child dilemma by Peter Singer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCgmPRxUYDY&feature=youtu.be) really caught my attention. In the last week, an acquaintance and I were discussing a similar question: Would you abstain from the internet for a year if you could save 1000 children from starvation for life? Mr. Singer believes that it is the responsibility of those with affluence are morally obligated to alleviate the suffering of other human beings. If one is not egocentric their moral compass would suggest that it is better to make self-sacrifices to help those that are hurting. In several ways, I believe his position is right. Personally, I feel that it is my individual moral responsibility to help those in need. Ethically, I do not feel that is an obligation that should be imposed on others.
You make a very compelling statement; ethically, we don’t have an obligation the should be imposed on others. Instead, we should focus on not helping too much. Where do we draw the line of helping too much? It seems essential to construct hospitals in third world countries to provide life-saving medical treatment, but should we let our education professionals teach in their classrooms? Is it ethical for us to teach their kids to American standards? Essentially, we need to identify the point when it turns from helping their culture to influencing it.
*NOTE: I forgot to post this discussion on time because I have a new puppy who requires all my love and attention.*
I’m responding to video number two: Peter Singer – Drowning Child, Singer sums up his video by giving a little makes a significant change, which is a simple solution to a complex issue. Admittedly, if the one billion people who reside in first-world nations donated a dollar every year to defeat poverty, we could permanently end unnecessary death via poverty. Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that. How many people in first-world nations live in poverty and can’t contribute? What about those who don’t want to participate? How would we even pass the legislation? Another challenge is delivering the needed resources; there are dozens of worldwide not-for-profit foreign add organizations with the resources to fulfill change, expect local militias to steal the food delivered to communities. I’m not saying it’s too difficult of a situation even to address fixing; instead, it requires more than a simple solution. It is selfish of us not even to try.
I didn’t realize this was an assignment. Woops!
I’m responding to the “Drowning Child” video. He uses the analogy of a drowning child for children in poverty. There are so many wealthy people in the U.S. who could help children by giving them shoes or possibly some sort of health care for these children. But many wealthy people are selfish and are unwilling to help the “drowning” child because they don’t want their shoes to get wet. I agree with Peter Singer that even providing these children with shoes or clothes could make a huge difference to these children.
I found the discussion about why some drugs are illegal and others are not very interesting. As I’ve seen documentaries and articles that have explored our nation’s method of banning substances to control specific populations. I believe just about everyone can easily recognize that cigarettes and alcohol are incredibly toxic substances and do significant harm to the human body well over and above the damage that marijuana and other “soft” drugs do with similar usage patterns. This discussion reminded me of a couple of articles and history channel programs I watched where the criminalization of specific drugs was used to marginalize and control specific ethnicities and minorities throughout our country’s history. When we were undertaking massive national projects like the coast to coast construction of our railway system cheap Chinese labor was the backbone of the entire endeavor. These minorities were generally treated as less than human and routinely died in detonations rather than waste time to ensure they had cleared the area they were working in. As these minority populations grew they would congregate and form their communities. To control them law enforcement needed access to tools to exert control over these communities. Opium usage was exceptionally prevalent in these communities so Local and federal laws where created that defined opium as an illegal substance. This gave law enforcement ample opportunity to enter these communities and incarcerate anyone they wanted to use these new laws to dominate and control these new populations that were growing inside American cities. marijuana was just the next substance to be used in such a fashion. Starting as early as 1916 several states began to outlaw the drug as a potential method of marginalizing and controlling Hispanic populations that were growing in their cities as there was a significant amount of immigration due to the Mexican revolution around 1910. “Reefer Madness” was a campaign slogan used to encourage the federal outlaw of marijuana by convincing the country at large that their children would get invited to “jazz parties” and become hooked on the drug. Along with blood lust and superhuman strength to ensure that even the strongest citizen should naturally fear any reefer infused Hispanic they could come into contact with. Looking at all the rhetoric and propaganda from that time it’s painfully obvious which populations they were targeting. This, of course, all culminates in banning the drug nationwide with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937