e‐HandoutBusiness & Professional EthicsLecture1v.21Lecture 1 – Welcome and Introduction to the CourseWelcome to Business & Professional Ethics (the e-course)! This is the sister course to the in-class version that I teach at the Rutgers-Newark campus. Much of the content of that course will be included in this e-course, but in the e-course you will have to do more reading and view more films, since there won’t be the standard three hour lecture time and because you won’t be able to interact with one another in the same way. That should not alarm you, however. The core readings for each week will only take you an hour or two per week, with the secondary readings taking you anywhere from ten minutes to an hour or so. You will note that I have assigned a number of movies for you to watch. Watching the movies is integral to the course, and is NOT optional. While the movies are (mostly) entertaining, the themes and topics are very pertinent to ethical decision making. Have fun viewing them, but think deeply about what is really going on, for example, when character Gordon Gekko, a principal character and villain (?) in the movie Wall Street, says: The richest one percent of this country owns half our country's wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It's bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it. You've got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I've still got a lot to teach you. Or how about when he says, at a stockholders meeting at a company called Teldar Paper: Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5
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