Lutfi – M

Noam Chomsky – Why Marijuana is Illegal and Tobacco is Legal

I thought the video on why Marijuana is illegal and tobacco is legal was actually quite interesting. I would say that ethically that the tobacco industry is immoral since it is a drug that does way more harm than good for its consumer. Yet, the tobacco industry has been around since the US has been founded. It has embedded in our culture, but so is marijuana. Yet marijuana was placed in the illegal category, but it doesn’t serious health problems like cancer like tobacco does. I think the reason why there is this ethical dilemma is because large corporations are able to influence politicians, so they can continue growing there business without any interference from competition.  The government needed to point the figure at drugs and say that they were a danger to our nation that led to the war on drugs, which was become a billion dollar industry. I think that the politics behind drugs is what is unethical.

LENA – M9

What, if any, has been your experience with the Hawthorne effect on a job? 

I haven’t been constantly managed or watched heavily from my current/ past job experience. I think I perform well when I am not micromanaged, and at my previous internship I worked more on my own than closely with my manager. Instead we met every week on Tuesday to discuss our progress on our projects. I think the freedom allowed me to work better towards solutions for my projects which usually took some amount of technical skills and creativity. I would learn different ways to approach many of the problems, but also have my boss and coworkers that always would help when I would ask. I found that to a very successful learning experience.

Describe a supervisor who inspired and motivated you – what were their characteristics or actions that made such a positive impact?

I think my current supervisor in the investment management industry is motivating because she has high expectations for many of the people she manages. She is quite knowledgeable concerning the finance and investments, along with having professional backboard in the industry. She teaches the technical skills that are required in this industry, but also the soft skills that are needed to be successful. Breaking into the investment industry, specifically Wall Street, is difficult considering I am in Alaska. Although, my supervisor, has made it possible to get my foot in the door for many of these investment firms. I think she is an invaluable asset to my professional development.

LENA – M8

I had a debate yesterday with my roommates on what should be done about gun laws in this country. For a disclaimer, we never reached a conclusion. Gun laws are a very sensitive topic in this country and many people have differing views. I certainly do not believe I have the one answer or one solution to this problem. But to cover some of the things we mention yesterday as we discussed the topic, we mentions some interesting points. I think that the problem that many people believe is that guns cause death and violence, but to take away all guns would still not solve the problem. Yes, guns cause death, but if people still wanted to be terrorist then they will find anyway they can to do so. What I think one solution, at first, would be to better regulate who is allowed guns through a strict background check and also allowing only certain stores to sell guns. Then next, in my opinion, is to not allow the sell of assault rifles such as the AR-15. Other than that, there are many other opinions that I am currently indifferent on, such as having trained teachers carrying weapons at schools, or taking away guns from people. I think this is a very large subject that needs to be debated more within the legislation.

LENA – M5 (A)

1. For you, what was the most alarming part of this film?

As a student of finance, I know that a corporation is legally obligated to increase shareholder value by basically increasing the bottom line. What makes that alarming to me is that corporations will do that even if it was not in the best interest of public good. I think that is quite sinister and creates a society that is built around the corporations, not around the democracy of the people.

A) Do you believe corporations are legal persons?  Why or Why Not?

I do believe that corporations are legal persons, but there is one objection about the corporate form and their influence. I do not think corporations should be treated differently than do people, because property rights and due process of law. Although, what does not make sense to me is that ability for corporations to make unlimited political contributions, hence giving them political clout because the size of their balance sheets. The legal rights of an individual person to make contributions to political campaigns are capped to $2,700 to each political election. That makes no sense to me, why are corporations able to influence the politics and the law. That is what doesn’t make a corporation a person to me.

 

LENA – M4

  1. How can you justify the role of “sweatshops” after reading the article? 
    That countries without many employment alternatives often have sweatshops that provide many people with jobs and a source of incomes. It is usually the developing countries that have many sweatshops, although the people that are employed by sweatshops are given a competitive wage and a better alternative. Many people disagree with sweatshops because they are unethical since they often do not typically meet employment standards such as minimum ages for employment, minimum wages, safety and health, and hours of work. Even though, sweatshops are in a process of improvement. Overtime, these sweatshops will bring economic growth to the country and ultimately raise living standards. If the U.S. takes away the ability for developing countries to have sweatshops then they really do not have many alternatives and will suffer economically.
  2. Do some research and read at least one other article(s) with the opposing view.  What are the arguments against sweatshops? Provide the reference.
    http://www.veganpeace.com/sweatshops/sweatshops_and_child_labor.htm After reviewing an article that opposes sweatshops, I think the are some clear points that need to be address with the management of sweatshops. In general, a sweatshop is a factory that violates two or more employment laws. I think that sweatshops definitely have a negative image, and most of it has to with child labor. I think it is a very dark market and the US has to be in negotiations with the developing countries to make sure sweatshops are following ethical standards when it comes to their employment.
  3. What should large conglomerates do regarding the use of “sweatshops?” Defend your position with facts from another article.
     http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/17833/holding_companies_accountable_sweatshops
    I think that after reading this article that there are two sides of the coin on how to handle large corporations that plan to use sweatshops. If a corporation uses a sweatshop then I would suggest sending a representative to that country to inspect the factory themselves. After making sure they provide a safe workplace, will only then they will off-shore their business. Then I think that making it public information about which factories that corporations use to make products will help the public make better moral decisions before purchasing products from a certain company. Lastly, I think this is mostly a governmental issues that needs to be addressed way more by the US and by developing nations. There needs to be certain health codes and standards that factories have to follow in order to operate or do business with the US.

LENA – M2

I cannot think of a good situation to describe egoism in my life, but I think I have a good example that identifies the theory by describing a certain profession. Before I go any further though, I would like to begin with a disclaimer, I am going to share with you my opinion of a typical hedge fund manager I have in mind and his name is Stephen Schwarzman.

Some may know him some may not, some may have heard about his company, Blackstone, and then some may be familiar with BlackRock. Basically, Schwarzman is the man who runs Blackstone headquartered in Manhattan. The company is the largest “alternative” management firm, focus on on private equity and property. Schwarzman is know for is autocratic power in the company, since outside shareholders (like the little guy, most likely me and the person reading this) have no vote at Blackstone. This type of management, I believe, shows how self-interested Schwarzman is when it comes to controlling his company.

Now, remember how I mentioned BlackRock earlier. Well, BlackRock used to be the company that Stephen Schwarzman co-founded with Larry Fink, until Schwarzman decided he wanted to do things differently and started a separate company called BlackStone. Fink now runs BlackRock and is on the complete opposite end of Schwarzman when it comes to operating his company. He focuses on selling passive funds, like ETFs, to institutions and to the masses. What makes Fink so significantly different is that he shifts away from being the conventional asset manager. The structure of the firm is different than BlackRock, it is simple, one share, one vote. The individual investor gets their right to vote at BlackRock!

Now here is the kicker, Schwarzman egotistic corporate culture at Blackstone has under-performed relative to BlackRock.

M1 – LENA

How do we develop our ethics? What are the primary sources for us to develop our ethical position?

Ethics is always subject to debate, since it is developed from our own perception of moral philosophy. The reason we develop a system of moral principles is simply to make decisions for dilemmas that one faces in life. It helps people answer questions like how to live a good life, or understanding our rights and responsibilities. To its basic core, ethics is about what is right or wrong, good or bad. Not everyone has the same ethics, or reasoning, because each person is unique in different ways that include customs, habits, character or disposition. Although, society has an overarching conception of what ethics entails, but when it comes to the individual then the person is subject to their own opinion.

To answer the question clearly, we develop our ethics through our principles. If someone had strong principles, that they rarely abandon, then that person has integrity. That same person has to apply judgement and establish a criteria for what behavior is right or wrong. If a person is unable to exercise this type of judgement and makes harmful decisions to themselves or others around them then they may be ruled unethical.

There are many ways, in my opinion, to develop an ethical position. In my case, I think that the primary source to reaching an ethical position would have to be through reasoning. It occurs sometimes that emotion might drive my ethical decisions, but in most cases I do not think I make the best choices when I rely on my emotions. I like to think things through, as if I was process thinking, then balance out the pros and cons of my decision. Lastly, I use my intuition to make the final decision and follow through on my actions.