Tough times call for new, creative solutions. It calls for fresh faces and fresh ideas. Obama was elected president behind his rally cry of change. He has appointed many policy leaders for all facets of our nation. From Health to Technology, the best and the brightest are brought on to bring our nation out of our poor economic state.
Great. Now what?
How about appointing an Ethics Czar? We hear all the time in the media that things need to change. We hear about excessive pensions and bonuses while thousands are laid off, and we get angry. We hear all about how some executive cheated on this, some accountant played with the numbers like that, and something in us burns. Yet would we have been any different if we lived in the world they did? If we were given the opportunities they had? We live in a me-first culture and accumulating wealth, living the “American Dream”, whatever that is, has become such a great focus in all that we do. Media praises success and we all grow up with that inward desire to make it big.
Below is a great little article about Ethics in Economics. Some excerpts:
Code of Ethics in Business has Changed
…I recall another conversation with a successful investment banker. He told me that the first thing he had to establish was his character, his reputation for trustworthiness and honesty. Without that, he would have been unable to trade. Nowadays, he said, deals no longer depend on character but on lawyers.
Common to these stories is the gradual disappearance of the cluster of principles that went by the name of morality. Whatever its source – religion, conscience, custom or code – it meant that there are certain things you don’t do because they are not done. You don’t reward yourself when customers, clients or shareholders or employees are suffering losses. You don’t pay yourself out of all proportion to what you pay others. You don’t take advantage of your position just because you can. You are guided, even if no one is watching, by a sense of what is responsible and right. Without that internalised code of honour and trust, no institution can be sustained in the long run.