Legislative Nepotism & Ethical Fallacies

Over at his blog, Jack Bogdanski remembers the core lessons of an workshop by ethics guru Michael Josephson.

One of the big lessons in that program was a list of ethical fallacies -- a series of rationalizations that people typically use for unethical behavior. I learned that when you hear yourself saying or thinking any of these things, you're on the road to ruin.

Jack then hears those fallacies from the mouths of legislators defending the practice of legislative nepotism. For example:

"I've got it coming to me." The state solons all say, and it's probably true, that they don't make enough while they're in Salem as part-timers to keep food on the table, clothes on their backs, and roofs over their heads. They put their loved ones on the payroll so that they can make ends meet while their paying, private-sector jobs are on hold.

Here's what Josephson says about that:

People who feel they are overworked or underpaid rationalize that minor "perks" — such as acceptance of favors, discounts or gratuities — are nothing more than fair compensation for services rendered. This is also used as an excuse to abuse sick time, insurance claims, overtime, personal phone calls and personal use of office supplies.

Head on over to bojack.org for the rest of the fallacies as applied to Salem - and links to the ethical rules themselves.

Discuss over there.


connect with blueoregon