Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

Business needs ethical boundaries

Your Nov. 14 editorial "An accounting for the SEC" states that "much of the correction needed in corporations, especially in accounting, has already been made by the pressure of investors and the integrity of company officials." I would agree that the statement is true in the short term. Unfortunately, neither is dependable out of the glare of publicity.

The pressure of investors lifts over time as memories fade and other hot issues appear. Business is for profit maximization only, and corporate capitalism is amoral (when only the strong survive, morality is considered a weakness). The accounting and investment bank lobbies clamor to reduce regulatory measures that might restrict behavior to the straight and narrow, because the measures would provide for stricter accounting and greater safety for investors, and therefore hinder profit acquisition for the corporations and the resulting bonuses for the principals.

We want our corporations to be aggressive, on the leading edge, experimenting boldly. Indeed, they are, not only with products and technology, but with business practice that pushes against and finds holes in rules and regulations.

Corporate behavior is constrained in the long term only by legal sanctions, and only when the legal measures are refined from time to time to close loopholes. If the current administration doesn't actively push for legal constraints to protect the investing public, then the public must fear that their investment nest eggs in the market henhouse are guarded by the unknowing, the unseeing, or the uncaring. Regardless, it would smell of a fox.Melvin A. Ivey Klamath Falls, Ore.

Special ed vouchers yield benefits

In response to your Nov. 18 editorial "Vouchers for special ed": As a special education teacher for 28 years, I concur. A "thoughtful national voluntary experiment" that provides parents of children with disabilities the option to leave a local program, if dissatisfied, has the potential to yield many benefits. …

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