November 05, 2007

Corporate Ethics: The barrel is rotten not the apples

Unethical corporate behavior does not begin and end at the executive level. All employees of businesses are capable of making unethical business choices. Most recently, studies have been conducted to examine how this behavior can be eradicated from the corporate structure. This week, I entered the blogosphere once again and found two blogs that discuss current dilemmas concerning the integration of ethics into corporations. In the blog "Governance Focus," author Onesimo Alvarez-Moro, a 20-year veteran of international investment banking, stresses the need for universities to incorporate ethics training not only as an introduction course in his post "Teaching Business Ethics: A critical need." The second blog I commented on is by Leon Gettier, a senior journalist at the Australian business journal The Age. His blog, "SOX First" focuses on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its integration into businesses. More specifically in his post, "Ethics Watch," Gettier comments on the great corporate illusion of ethical codes.


Thank you for bringing this issue to light. Teaching "ethics and responsible behavior" is crucial to equipping students as they graduate and move into the business world. However, I believe ethics is more than just a class or a curriculum. Ethics is a habit and a way of life. Most people are able to recognize what is right and wrong in life. Yet making ethical decisions is often complicated when employees are challenged with pressure from executives, confronted with added monetary bonuses for covering up issues, or burdened with peer pressure. The Institute for Corporate Ethics, comprised of CEO's from top Fortune 500 companies, has generated a report, urging university business schools to develop ethical leadership classes and divisions, emphasizing ethics as a core discipline of business. "The best metric for assessing the worth of business schools is whether or not we are preparing emerging leaders to be good creators and stewards of value." The University of Southern California is at the forefront of student awareness on ethical education. The performing arts center adapted a new play "The Voysey Inheritance," a retelling of Victorian business ethics that "rings with echoes of modern-day corporate excess." Let's hope other universities can follow this trend and maybe take it to the classsroom soon.


First of all, I want to applaud your blog and your most recent post. I would like to expand on some of the issues you address concerning enforcement of codes of ethics. The CFO's Europe Research study that you name says that because America has criminal penalties involved with unethical practices, "American companies seem to have in place more ethical laws." However, ethical laws are not the issue. The federal government has the Sarbanes-Oxley, Whistle blowing acts, the Ethics Commissions, and the FBI. CFO's "are the keepers of the corporate conscience," however ethics need to come from the ground up in an organization. Enron, WorldCom-they have the codes merely to serve as smoke and mirrors. What corporate America needs is a movement for restructuring the business pyramid, starting with educating employees on the importance of ethics from the onset of employment. BusinessWeek columnist Vivek Wadhwa argues "'company leaders' reinforce corporate values by making these an integral part of how success is measured and rewarded. Performance reviews and bonuses tied to corporate goals can be very effective." The issue does lie in the barrel, not the apples. Corporations need reform from the ground up.

October 29, 2007

October: A Month to Think Before you Pink

As the month of October comes to an end, the leaves change color, children go out and buy fun Halloween costumes, and the holiday spirit begins to pervade the air. It is a month to celebrate life and also Breast Cancer Awareness. The Pink Ribbon campaign has invaded consumer culture. People buy these goods because they think that they are benefiting breast cancer research, and thus they want to do their part to help. What many people do not realize is that commercial support of Breast Cancer Awareness month and the pink ribbon are tactics that businesses construct to rally consumers around illness marking.

The pink ribbon began as the breast cancer symbol in 1990, inspired by AIDS activists who used to wear red ribbons. After a photograph was taken of an actor sporting the red ribbon at the Tony Awards, breast cancer foundations realized the marketing tool they had on their hands. In 1991, breast cancer survivors wore the pink ribbon in the New York City race, and since then the symbol has ignited national recognition.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month was actually started by AstraZeneca, "a pharmaceutical company that also manufactures an herbicide known to cause cancer. In 2003, the company settled for $355 million after illegally marketing a prostate cancer drug. The non-profit company Breast Cancer Action has labeled AstraZeneca and other companies like them "pinkwashers."

While all the publicity surrounding the Pink Ribbon campaign has undoubtedly raised awareness, it has also raised concern among women. And consequently with this concern, women are fearful that they may contract cancer or someone they love might. They want to do whatever they can to help the fight. However, corporations actually raise very little money for breast cancer foundations compared to the large-scale funding necessary for their research. What is even more important is that the companies who do support the Pink Ribbon Campaign are companies whose products may contain cancer-causing materials or may have a cancerous side effect in the future.
This month, Yoplait distributes their pink yogurt products tagged with the slogan, "Save Lids to Save Lives." For each pink lid mailed to the company, Yoplait donates ten cents to Susan Komen for the Cure. That would mean that a woman would have to consume 3 yogurts per day to donate $36 dollars for the month. Yoplait's cows are also treated with rBGH, which from recent studies has been linked to increasing the risk of breast cancer. "These pink ribbon campaigns often mean more to the corporate bottom line then they do to people living with breast cancer," said Barbara Brenner of Breast Cancer Action.

Several beauty companies have also created pink products. This month, EsteƩ Lauder is donating $500,000 from its Pink Ribbon Collection sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, yet its products still contain the chemical parabens, which has been linked to breast cancer. Revlon is also sponsored a breast cancer walk while its products contain cancer-causing chemicals. Karen Grant, a senior beauty analyst from NPD group asks, "Really and truly , is it really heightening awareness? Or is it just companies using this as a vehicle to promote their own sales?"

In one of my previous posts, I talked about "greenwashing." That phenomenon is not much different than "pinkwashing." Global warming and breast cancer are two topics of great concern among people today, and companies can play off of people's fears in order to sell products. People need to recognize what is happening around them instead of falling into to a popular culture trap. Critics of the movement for breast cancer research are asking whether money should be going towards finding a cure or eradicating the disease. The FDA and drug companies are focused on finding the right drug to cure the disease instead of stopping it in general. The FDA approves new drugs frequently. They pave the way for drug companies to make more money when really the FDA should focus more efforts on ending the disease. When it comes to preventing cancer, the cancer industry remains silent on prevention solutions. "All they have to do is keep their mouths shut about what causes cancer, and wait for new customers to fill the cancer centers."

At the close of the largest annual medical awareness campaign month, it is a time for us to stop, pause, and think about the ramifications and true intentions behind this and other awareness events. Breast cancer is the poster child disease for illness marketing. It does not kill as many women as lung or heart disease, but it directly affects the most visible symbol of our female sexuality. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is an organization who just began a study to find the causes of breast cancer, but it is estimated to take ten years. We cannot stop breast cancer by shopping and eating. More funding needs to be awarded to eradicate breast cancer, not further drug company profits.

October 22, 2007

Whistleblowing: Hollywood takes a stand

A few days ago, I went to see George Clooney's newest thriller, Michael Clayton. To my surprise, Clooney produces a compelling and provoking film that demonstrates how different businesspeople handle the weight of ethics in their demanding corporate lives. Michael Clayton speaks not only to ethical dilemmas present for corporate employees, but also brings to light the current context on the pressing issue of whistleblowing.

The title character Michael Clayton (Clooney pictured left) is a burned-out and divorced father who works as a "janitor" for one of the most powerful Manhattan law firms. Clayton is called in to clean up the complex mess that ensues after one of the firm's top attorneys (Tom Wilkinson) has had a psychotic meltdown in the midst of a deposition for chemical giant U-North. In the process of trying to keep Edens away from the media, Clayton finds evidence that U-North may have knowingly and recklessly endangered the health of an entire Wisconsin community. This both pushes him toward a moral crisis and puts his law firm in danger of losing the biggest case of its life.

Clooney's character is paralleled by U-North's general counsel, Tilda Swinton. While both lawyers are on the same team, they choose different ethical paths to follow. Swinton's primary goal is to keep people from discovering U-North's corporate conspiracy. Clayton instead has to make the choice between outing U-North and remaining quiet so that his law firm can win the case. Harvard Law's The Record says the film "asks its audience to consider some difficult moral problems, but it does so in an unassuming way that leaves its audience satisfied in questioning the motivations and actions of these lawyers at the end." While Clayton blows the whistle on U-North at the end, it leaves one wondering if people actually find the courage to do so in corporate reality.

The term "whistleblower" originated hundreds of years ago and continues to be prevalent today. In early 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that government employees did not have protection from retaliation by their employers under the First Amendment of the Constitution. In response however, Congress introduced the Whistleblower Protection Act of 2007 (sarcastic advertisement to the right), which had significant bipartisan support. However, President Bush promised to veto the bill if it was actually enacted by Congress. The bill is still on hold today. Without protection from their employers, employees who out their companies will not feel safe to do so and therefore more corporate fraud and corruption will continue to infest the economy.

Previous legislation has given too many loopholes to corporations. After the end of the 90s and early 2000s with Enron and WorldCom, Congress passed the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which largely failed due to the Department of Labor regulations and various judges' interpretations. Rulings on the SOX act have been so varied that private employees "who expose wrongdoing are likely to suffer punishment and get the cold shoulder from the federal government." University of Nebraska College of Law found that employees win only 1 in 25 cases brought under the SOX Act.

After an employee discovers and reports an ethical dilemma in the company, what happens to their job? Hopefully, legislation like the Whistleblower Protection Act will pass but in the mean time, where do employees turn? A few days ago, the famed "Walmart Whistleblower" Chalace Lowry was given a job back within Walmart after she reported what she thought was insider training by a senior executive. Walmart gave her 60-90 days to find another job. However, Lowry reapplied to over 30 positions within Walmart, the very corporation she reported. "I acted in good faith, just pointing out that there might have been some wrongdoing," said Lowry in June. Lowry is now assisting a legal team, ironically led by the woman tasked at Enron with reassigning their whistleblower, Sherron Watkins, to a new position.

In an MSNBC article, "Whistleblowers who made their mark," government affiliated agencies are the most reported organizations, highlighted in the last several days with the CIA. They are investigating one of their own employees, who has been reporting negatively on the C.I.A.'s detention and interrogation programs. These people who speak out most of the time in a negative light on the corporation, like the CIA agent, cannot fade away into the media landscape. Citizens who have the courage to stand up and speak out need to be protected, so that there can be some system of controlling money mongers without consciences.

October 08, 2007

Chevron: Welcome to the American Greenwash

A two-minute television commercial debuted during CBS primetime's 60 Minutes last week, including shots of blue skies, loving families, cuddly animals, and amputees running sprints. No it is not an advertisement promoting non-profit donation or Pacific Life insurance. This $15 billion advertisement is the firepower of Chevron Oil for their "Power of Human Energy" campaign. The campaign began last Sunday in an effort to show the oil giant's dedication and recognition of the need to investigate future energy supplies. The mogul's campaign, which argues "humanity needs alternative energy sources, but it still needs fossil fuel," is being lambasted throughout the media for its hypocritical smoke screen. Shot in twenty-two locations in thirteen countries, the ads include actors as well as Chevron workers.

The "Power of Human Energy" campaign is an ambitious public relations move for the oil giant to recast itself as an environmentally responsible citizen. Although it touches on a topic the oil industry once hated to discuss, the ads never use the terms global warming or climate change. The more attention the public pays to alternative energy and the environment, the more important it becomes for oil companies to be seen taking an active role in the debate. Chevron's commercial plays off public emotion and tries to tug at viewer's heartstrings. Environmental groups, like the Sierra Club, have pinpointed Chevron's advertising techniques and called them "greenwashing," a term describing "actions of a company, government, or other organization which advertises positive environmental practices while acting in the opposite way." Recently many corporations producing harmful products have used advertisements to try and reshape their reputation. BP coined "beyond petroleum", Royal Dutch Shell attached a caring DVD to National Geographic magazines, and even President Bush's "Clear Skies Initiative" is arguably making way for a more polluted sky. These corporations with busting bank accounts can pay their way through any public relations campaign to try and twist their image in the eyes of American consumers.

The problem is that Chevron's poor corporate citizen stretches worldwide, not to just American consumers. Last Tuesday, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Chevron should be held responsible for Nigerian military attacks in the late nineties. International military entanglements do not end there. Due to a grandfather clause exempting Chevron from Clinton's legislation in 1997 stopping investments in Burma, the oil mogul's natural gas operations have continued to bring upwards of $2.16 billion in taxes to the military government the last few years. By doing so, they are supporting the human rights violations of the Texas-sized nation in the last few weeks and its military buildup of the last few years. The current government in Burma freely murders pro-Democracy protestors and Chevron should stand up for the political ideology that allowed it to become a multi-national corporation based in the United States.

It is no mystery that Chevron, like other oil companies, is trying to stay afloat in the changing eco-friendly "green" world. Clearly companies such as Chevron, BP, and Royal Dutch Oil are creating these emotionally-charged green campaigns to do what they can given their harmful industries. Chevron is arguing that the economy needs oil but perhaps there are other sources of energy that are not being explored. For instance, a proactive website "Will you Join Us," funded by Chevron, focuses on different forms of energy like renewables, nuclear power, and hydrogen. Yet Chevron needs to stretch itself farther than creating a website dedicated to energy reforms. They need to pressure the Burmese government to change their oppressive regime. Clearly Chevron is only willing to go so far and when profits could be damaged, human rights may be the opportunity cost.

Oil is not the only industry that faces this issue. The tobacco industry is notorious for funding initiatives and research to prevent smoking. The irony is almost too much to handle, but in today's world, everyone is generally more conscious of the environment and health so companies have to respond to that. Philip Morris USA's new campaign has been a multi-million dollar investment in Potentially Reduced Exposure Products (PREPS), a supposedly less carcinogenic cigarette. While global issues are of the utmost concern, companies like Philip Morris and Chevron can inch their way into the limelight to downplay their products' role in the global problems and instead promote a "globally conscious initiatives." Clearly, the environmental campaigns from Chevron and Philip Morris have been called cynical. The issue again comes down to profit. When companies are responding to shareholders and looking out for personal gain, human greed takes the drivers seat and ethics rides in the trunk. So will the people watching this commercial respond favorably to the advertisement or will they write Chevron off as hypocritical? Chevron Brand Manager Helen Clark says that "it doesn't matter what we say-they're going to feel that way. But there is a large faction in the middle that is really open." With hybrid car sales rising, peaking at an average growth of 81% in 2004, hopefully people will not depend on oil as much in the future.

October 01, 2007

Bush Administration Outlines 2008 Budget: Paves the way for more White Collar Crime

The Bush administration ignited a bruising battle with Congress last week, demanding the mammoth sum of over 190 billion dollars to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the Bush administration is clawing deeper into the government's pocket for the War on Terror, they are neglecting crucial programs at home. With the allotted 190 billion dollar budget, the FBI will lose critical funding for their criminal program, which Congress believes will cripple the bureau's ability to tackle white-collar fraud and other criminal injustices on the rise within the United States. White-collar crime has been on the rise in the last couple of years. Since September 11, many corporate criminals have escaped prosecutions because Bush has drastically shifted his funding programs towards increasing militarization and security as a result of the War on Terror. However, if he continues to do so as his 2008 budget outlines, corporations will take advantage of the loopholes.

President Bush has made, what esteemed blog "Comments from the Left Field" says is, a "wholesale shift" from domestic issues. The threat of terror abroad frightens the public, yet what they do not realize is that many corporations are stealing and defrauding them without their knowledge. White collar crime, defined as a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation, costs the United States government $300 billion dollars annually. Already, thousands of criminals have escaped the federal prosecution since September 11. According to the justice department, there has been a 34% drop in white-collar crime cases reported to the federal government and a 30% decline in convictions. The Internet is a threatening gateway for white-collar criminals to exploit the public, having simple one-click access personal and financial information. Former FBI congressional liaison Charlie Mandigo believes that cutting agents will leave the door open for crime to become global and make it more difficult "to address interstate crime where local police do not have the capability, resources and jurisdiction."

Bush and convicted white-collar criminals are far too friendly, especially Enron. The White House and Enron have at times seemed interchangeable, both financially and politically. According to political author Sander Hicks, Vice President Cheney and Bush's campaign advisor Karl Rove previously consulted with Enron Chair Ken Lay on energy policy. Lay also gave suggestions to Rove on government nominations, creating a revolving door of personnel: five former Enron employees work in the White House and Cabinet. Enron donated almost "$2.4 million to federal candidates, and $2 million to Bush alone. They were in turn rewarded with legislation that allowed them to profit off the deregulation of state-run power industries," according to Hicks. Bush's tax cuts are designed to benefit his wealthy contributors, so that by 2010 the top 1 percent of Americans will have received 51.8 percent of the total tax cut and the bottom 20 percent will have received 1.2 percent. When money and politics meet, money prevails over ethics. Entanglements with white-collar crime do not begin and end with the Republican Party, however because Bush is in the executive chair right now, he has come under fire. Currently, the Democrats have united against Bush in Congress and are vehemently opposed to his tax cuts in many areas, FBI funding included.

Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., is leading the Congressional effort against the new budget. Democrats and many Republicans have asked Bush to reexamine his tax cut policy. Murray claims that if Bush is willing to take money from the FBI for programming, he should be willing to change his tax cut proportions and reallocate the money. She approached the FBI and also implored the President to increase funding. In 2005 Washington sent only 28 white-collar cases to the federal government, which was a 90% drop from the year before. Bush has already transferred 2,400 agents since 2001, and if Bush takes more agents to his counterterrorism squad, the impact will affect the American people nationwide. Murray, however, is treading lightly. There is a fear the Bush will exercise his veto power. Because legislative and executive branches are politically misaligned, there is a significant power struggle and fear of the other gaining more power. Peter L. Strauss, a professor at Columbia Law School, said the executive order "achieves a major increase in White House control over domestic government. Having lost control of Congress, the President is doing what he can to increase his control of the executive branch."

Throughout the upper half of the last century, corporations, led by the contagious disease of greed, have sought emphatically for loopholes to cheat the system. Author Terry Leap argues in his book Dishonest Dollars: The Dynamics of White Collar Crime that "greed is difficult to understand, attributable to compulsive behavior and psychological behavior that can distort a person." Allowing adequate funding for the enforcement policies of white-collar crime is necessary to further democracy at home, regardless of what is happening abroad.

September 24, 2007

The American Government: A fair and just business

The Forefathers had the idea to create a fair and just government, reflecting the feelings and sentiments of the majority of the people. However, over time this ideal has become warped. Through profit motivation and greed innately present in human nature, the ideals of "fair and just" have not fully materialized. Recently, some actions of the government have reflected more like those of a business. This week I have entered the blogosphere to find some other relevant opinions on the ideas of government and business. I commented on two blogs, which referred to different news topics but which I related to a broader common theme: the American government often operates as an unethical business. Both blogs received high authority ratings from Technorati and also follow the IMSA criteria evaluation standards for blogs. Author Edward Morrissey, a conservative Minnesota radio host of a respected talk show, writes a stimulating post titled "Celebrity endorsements, Political Contributions, and Hsu" on his blog Captain's Quarters. Through this post, Morrissey explores how Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (pictured above) used money from an unethical source in order to fund her political campaign. I also responded to a second post, titled "Feds Target Blackwater in Weapons Probe," from another conservative blog Texas Fred. I argue with this author in his post, where he comments on Blackwater USA (soldiers pictured with Blackwater weapons above), a United States military weapons contractor who is allegedly being investigated for illegally smuggling weapons into Iraq.

"Celebrity endorsements, Political Contributions, and Hsu"
Comment to Captain's Quarters:

Firstly, I find your post extremely thought provoking. Although you say that you believe Clinton must have known about Hsu's past, I believe that her knowledge of Hsu's illegal scam is practically irrelevant. Even if she did not know, it shows she did not care enough to deeply investigate Hsu, who was one of her biggest fundraising contributors. Her motivation was to get the money for her campaign; the work and time to look deeper into Hsu's background was clouded by the necessity to get campaign funding. I think it is really important to see that getting the people's votes in America has become a business, teeming with unethical interactions. Pretend for a moment that Hsu did not fraud $23 million from investors and did not have a shady past, Hsu was in charge of getting money for Clinton from investor groups for her campaign. For decades and possibly centuries, candidates have been garnering money from politically charged factions that later require some sort of favor. The accepted American system of electing members of government is not conducive to a just and fair way of governing.
As you stated, Hsu had celebrity endorsements: "Tobey Maguire got caught up in the spider web as well. Stephen Spielberg's close encounters with Hsu convinced investors that Hsu was on the level." These celebrities, who have general public support and are respected figures helped Hsu raise money. They too did not really have an idea who they were helping. However, when it comes to politics, it is obvious that getting elected has become a business. The candidate hires a "professional" like Hsu, they "find" money in order to make their product sell, even if the product could be our next just and honorable president.

"Feds Target Blackwater in Weapons Probe"
Comment to Texas Fred:

I agree with your support of the troops and your strong nationalism toward our government. However, I believe when profit is at stake, people will follow unethical and unjust means in order to accomplish their ends. That is why in this case, the United States Attorney General needs to conduct a deep probe into Blackwater USA. Looking at Blackwater's history, it does not provide a clean slate on which to evaluate them. I am looking at this situation from an business viewpoint, and when a contracted government company is perhaps violating ethical standards, a huge red flag needs to be waved. I am skeptical of Blackwater in general, who the Associated Press in an article titled "'Cowboy' Aggression Works for Blackwater" outlines its in depth involvement with the Republican party. The article says, and I believe you also say, that Blackwater has one task: to protect state department diplomats. As part of their contract, they do abide by this principle. However, does our country want such an organization that compromises ethical behavior in order to not only protect lives but also make money at doing so? Putting aside their recent media storm, at the beginning of last year, two former Blackwater employees pled guilty possessing stolen firearms. The firm is also entangled in GOP fundraising campaigns, giving more than $200, 000, which according to the AP article has allowed Blackwater to operate in a "murky legal world" during the Republican reign.
By using Blackwater, the government becomes twisted into their transactions. Hopefully this issue can be resolved as justly as possible, and the government will let the situation unfold and hold Blackwater accountable as the legal system outlines.

September 17, 2007

Job Outsourcing: Hindering the Growth of the American Economy

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration announced a plan to begin outsourcing more than 300 jobs overseas, alarming Congressmen and informed Americans. Michigan Congressmen John Dingell and Bart Stupak spearheaded the opposition immediately after the announcement was made. While some economists feel job outsourcing actually increases wealth in the United States, outsourcing (pictured here with Mattel's toy company) in fact is hindering economic growth and fostering unethical practices among corporations.

Economists who are proponents of outsourcing stipulate that outsourcing is another form of free trade. It gives American companies a cheaper alternative to production and therefore stimulates the production of goods flowing into the United States. However, what would happen when people cannot afford the goods flowing into the country? Many of the jobs that are taken overseas could have been given to blue-collar workers inside the United States. Outsourcing "refers to the delegation of non-core operations from internal production to an external entity to perform specific tasks that the entity once performed itself." Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan believes that while the economy can recover from losing jobs overseas, it is "not without a high degree of pain for those caught in the job-losing segment of America's massive job-turnover process."

In fact, an even more frightening trend has happened in the last several years. Companies are now outsourcing white-collar jobs, as seen with the FDA's recent media storm.

Keeping this in mind, I cannot imagine how the FDA would consider transferring crucial jobs that handle the American people's safety to other nations with far inferior regulations. According to the Congressmen, the FDA has lost credibility in the last several years, including the tainted spinach scare only a year ago. "It is truly incomprehensible why the agency would again consider reducing the expertise and institutional knowledge of the FDA at a time with the FDA's credibility with the American people is at an all time low," said in a statement from Dingell and Stupak.

The National Treasury Employees Union said that the FDA came to them with a list of jobs it would be outsourcing, most likely to India. These jobs included lab technicians who handle food safety regulations. After outcries from the NTEU, the FDA suspended the closures of 13 facilities.

I believe that the Congressmen's investigation into the FDA is an interesting campaign. Both Dingell and Stupak are from the state of Michigan, a dominantly blue-collar state. Their states' interests lay in protecting the American worker and thus began their whistle-blowing probe into the FDA's outsourcing plan. Boston-based consultancy Forrester estimates that 400,000 service jobs have been lost to outsourcing since 2000, with jobs leaving at a rate of 12,000 to 15,000 per month, says John McCarthy, the company's director of research. Other estimates say up to 20,000 jobs a month may be moving overseas.

When corporations are looking to please shareholders and to increase their profit margins on their books, a cheaper alternative is always the right alternative. Having this goal is not conducive to safe and healthy regulations, nor towards a more ethical America. If the American people are buying Barbie products, are they buying a doll certified through American safety regulations or Chinese safety regulations? Profit can motivate people to do almost anything. (Pictured here is a map of the countries with the most job outsourcing).

Now that the FDA has made indications of moving jobs to other countries, whether that be actual safety jobs as Dingell and Stupak claim or administrative jobs as the FDA is now claiming, union representatives from the AFL-CIO are fighting on Capital Hill to keep labor inside the United States. One would hope that there would be a code of ethics, in the sense of stronger morals and upholding the value of each person, that all businesses would follow, where CEO's protected the little guys, working the factories and making the products.

Imagine a sort of fraternal system within the corporation where people took care of each other and looked out for everyone's best interests. This model seems unrealistic and far too ideal. Yet, what corporate America faces now is a greedy world where there is only a number one. There is not an easy answer to the outsourcing problem. If one company were to decide to keep its jobs in America, then it would be losing a lot more money compared to its competitors. It is a vicious cycle of competition.

With outsourcing, it is clear that cheaper labor makes more products. But are they better products? The old adage of quality versus quantity holds true here. If corporations held each other to higher standards of ethics, where the interests of people gained more importance than profit, then maybe Mattel, the FDA, and other companies would not have these global scandals.
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