Dr. Antony J. Jacob
Business Ethics 309
July 29, 2012
Discuss the moral and economic implications involved in the movement. Ethical behavior in business is consistent with the principles, norms, and standards of business practice that have been agreed upon by society. Society is unhappy with greed and corruption of wealth inequality prevalent in the U S. The wealth of the United States people is only held by 1% of the U.S. population (“Occupy Together”. 2011).
The Occupy movement was brought on by ongoing financial fraud and wanting the wrong doers to be brought to justice. The main goal of the movement is to separate money from politics. The occupation of Wall Street was proposed by a Canadian based abti-consumerist organization called Adbusters, to protest a growing disparity in wealth , and corporate influence on democracy. The issue being; they represent the 99%, and have the goal of ending the greed and corruption that the wealthiest 1% of Americans have (“Occupy Together”. 2011). The Occupy Wall Street movement wants the wealth to be more eqaully distribted.
The goal is to rebuild the wealth, based on policy reform such as policies to shrink and eliminate the influence that corporate america has on politics. The movement wants to reform the current tax structure, create new jobs, reform health care, and improve policies that involve environment and energy, improve the current state of the educational system, and create anti-war policies (Hayat, 2011).
Analyze each of the implications identified above against the utilitarian, Kantian, and virtue ethics to determine which theory best applies to the movement. Support your position with examples and evidence. I feel as though the Utilitarianism theory best applies to the Occupy Wall Street Movement. “Utilitarianism is the moral doctrine that we should always act to produce the greatest possible balance of good over bad for everyone affected by our actions ( Shaw, 2011)”. Some things that manifested the situation where the general sense of wealth inequality, and the corporate influence of our government. According to Congressional Budget Office (2007), “between 1979 and 2007 income of the top 1% of Americans grew by an average of 275%. From 1992-2007 the top 400 income earners in the U.S. saw their income increase 392% and their average tax rate reduced by 37%. In 2007 the richest 1% owned 34.6% of the country’s total wealth and the next 19% owned 50.5%. The top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth” (Use of Evidence in Analysis of Budget and Economic Policies).
When President Obama was elected, the movement thought that change was going to come. They were hoping that he would pass laws to help regulate the banking systems, and bring the financial fraudsters to justice. When Adbusters saw that this was not going to happen Occupy Wall Street was born.
Those participating in the sit in want a better quality of life and to be politically heard. The group represents themselves as the 99% of humanity that will not tolerate the 1% greed and corruption of corporations (Malito, 2011). The ethical change that this movemenet is looking for is better business ethics with accountability, foreclosures, bailouts to corporations, executive bonuses, educational debts, and outsourced labor leaving people without health care and jobs, these ethical dilemmas are a portion of the movement against business practices. The message is lack of systems protecting human rights and the lack of systems caring for individuals.
Determine who is responsible for income inequality and wealth distribution in the U.S. In your analysis, make sure to include if this is something that happened suddenly or if it built up over time. Explain your rationale. The ethical behavior has been questionable with how the corporate world has been