I question the ethics of ProPublica purloining rich people’s tax returns

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ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative journalism site, obtained and then published details of the tax returns of billionaires including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and Michael Bloomberg. Their reporting echoed across the internet, but did it really justify stealing people’s private information? “ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the … Continued

Test your ethics: 11 real-world ethical challenges

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I’ve faced many ethics quandaries in my long career. You will, too. Everyone believes they are ethical. But when it’s time to decide, what will you actually do? Real-life ethics test Here’s a list of ethical situations, most of which I actually faced. Put yourself in my shoes. What would you do? In the interest … Continued

When I was the whistleblower

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What does it feel like to file a complaint that something’s just not right and watch the process unfold? What’s happening right now in DC is unprecedented, and the stakes and risks for the person who filed the whistleblower complaint are very high. The person who reported on Trump’s activities in the call with Ukraine … Continued

Which is more important, integrity or friendship?

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As I watch people endorsing their friends’ books that they haven’t read, I keep getting reminded of a question that is nagging at the back of my mind. Which is more important, integrity or friendship? If you are an analytical thinker or hope to be a thought leader, this is not an idle question. An … Continued

When is it ethical to write and let others take credit?

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Is it wrong to write a paper for a student? This seems like a black-and-white ethical issue, but having now seen some comments from people with a very different cultural perspective, I’m trying to think about it more carefully. This occurred to me when I saw that the Pakistani tech journalist and entrepreneur Hira Saeed, … Continued

Hey Rep. Bob Goodlatte: can you strengthen ethics by weakening it?

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House Republicans voted to rejigger (or as the headlines put it, “gut“) their independent ethics office; then, after heavy criticism from Democrats, Trump, and voters, said, “Nah, forget it.” What were they thinking? To find out, I analyzed a statement from Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte, point man for the change. He’s mastered the Orwellian skill of calling … Continued

Wells Fargo’s vision and values led to its downfall

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Visions statements inspire. Wells Fargo’s inspired fraud. A close read of the company’s Vision & Values Statement reveals how the bank’s employees took some of the statements in this vision too far, ignored others, and created a corrupt scheme to meet quotas and violate customers’ trust. Elizabeth Warren mentioned the Vision & Values Statement during her withering … Continued

Donald Trump, “The Art of the Deal,” and the ethics of ghostwriting

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The New Yorker just published a fascinating article, “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All,” revealing what really happened when Tony Schwartz ghostwrote The Art of the Deal for Donald Trump. Schwartz says, “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” … Continued