Business Ethics Paper

Business Ethics Paper - Yocom 1 Blake Yocom Professor Laing...

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Yocom 1 Blake Yocom Professor Laing Business Ethics 17 March 2008 Justice, CEO Compensation and Inequalities in Income and Wealth The issue of Chief Executive Officer compensation has been intensely debated for decades with no end in sight . The issue is more serious in the United States versus nations in Europe where income disparity is not as extreme . This difference makes the CEO compensation problem mainly American and thus the following will be from an American perspective . Political candidates have professed that “Something is wrong when CEOs are making more in ten minutes than ordinary workers do in an entire year” (Obama) . There are two contrasting viewpoints as to how society can justly and fairly distribute income and wealth presented by John Rawls and Robert Nozick . Rawls’ views are termed the “Distributive Theory” which is based around the difference principle and distribute justice, and Nozick proclaims the “Entitlement Theory” which is similar to a winner-take-all mentality . Both paradigms are either difficult to institutionalize or would be too dangerous to allow to their fullest extent . Thus in analyzing these theories, one should attempt to combine aspects of both to produce an effective and realistic economic structure . John Rawls Theory of Justice was written in 1971 and has been used by scholars across many different fields ranging from law to economics . Included in the Theory of
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Yocom 2 Justice is Rawls theory of distributive justice, the social contract, and the difference principle . Rawls suggests that the perceived concept of justice that is the “most rational” is utilitarianism . This is the idea that states “a society is rightly ordered and just, when its institutions are arranged so as to realize the greatest sum of satisfactions” (Ethical Issues in Business, pg . 223) . This form is commonly referred to as the “greatest good for the greatest number” in many introductory economics courses . Utilitarianism is often in conflict with many philosophies on ethical standards and systems of thought . Rawls believed this theory was irrational and refuted it with the social contract theory . His main complaint is that those who subscribe to utilitarian thought do not even consider how the sum of satisfactions is distributed to individuals . The social contract in contrast with utilitarianism seeks to bring people together in the
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2012 for the course BIP 300 taught by Professor Liang during the Spring '08 term at Northwestern.

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Business Ethics Paper - Yocom 1 Blake Yocom Professor Laing...

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