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Monday, February 26, 2007

Ethics 101

They held a symposium on government ethics the other day in response, in part, to the number of public officials caught, as Attorney General Stuart Rabner put it, "gaming the system'' for personal gain. Rabner told the 70 local and county officials, municipal administrators and law enforcement folks there to use common sense to avoid conflicts of interest and to think about appropriate behavior and the appearance of impropriety.

It all makes perfect sense. What's shameful is that we have to hold symposiums on ethics in the first place. Public officials on all government levels need so much help that Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr., R-Monmouth, is working up legislation to require ethics training on a regular basis. It's sad that we've come to this point. You know what's right and what's wrong - and you'd think our elected officials would, too. But too many don't. Which is why they should be tossed into jail and lose their benefits - including all their pension - for not knowing the difference.

3 Comments:

Blogger Ray said...

Ethics training won't do a thing here. These people know full well what they're doing is wrong but they choose to do it anyway because the odds are that they won't get caught. Ethics training would be nothing more than a feel-good response were it to be enacted. Such proposals are always politically safe and accomplish nothing more than to gain some political points against the other side. The real solution is to increase the penalties for being corrupt.

11:30 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger margaret said...

I wouldn't be so sure that people know right from wrong. Recently a poll was taken and a Nightly News Program (like 20/20 or Primetime) interviewed high school students...and it was found that many students cheat because...business people do it, and you can't be successful unless you do.
It's sad to think that our youth think that way, but especially in New Jersey, all they have to do is look at some of the political figures in the news to reaffirm their belief system.

I wonder how long this thought pattern has existed, and I wonder if the group of corrupt politicians were brought up with such twisted ideas.

10:05 AM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger Ray said...

I think the fact that those high school students know they're cheating -- even if they feel they can rationalize it -- indicates that they know it's wrong. Yet they do it anyway. Now, if an ethics course could stop people from rationalizing that cheating is okay I'd support it. But it seems to me that sort of change has to come from within rather than being taught.

10:48 PM, February 28, 2007  

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