Dear Ethix – Issue 62

Concern for Environmental Waste

I would be interested to see a very serious challenge be made on how we package consumer goods. Quite often the packaging has much more volume and material than the product itself. This must be a major drain on natural resources and an unnecessary contributor to our landfills. My question is “Do businesses have an ethical obligation to consume earth’s finite resources responsibly? Should businesses have an obligation to the complete lifecycle of their products (including final disposal)?” I know these questions have already come up, but who are the business leaders committed to a greener future for our kids and grandkids? It would be great to continuously highlight them and their commitments.

I like what you’re doing with Ethix. and think it can also shed a lot of light on the wasting of earth’s natural resources.

Saeed Paydafar
Los Angeles, Calif.

Financial Crisis

Watching the news and all the “gloom and doom” scenarios being painted out there, I had to send you this note. In Ethix Issue 28 (March/April 2003) you published my essay/op-ed piece titled, “Ethical Salespeople: A Key to Economic Recovery.” My article then was written addressing much of the fallout from the dot-com boom and what I thought needed to happen to re-ignite the economy. Interestingly, I feel exactly the same about where we are today.

Maybe it’s because I am an eternal optimist (even though I am also pragmatic and believe in dealing with reality). Yes, it’s a mess, but we have a choice; we can sit around and just worry ourselves to death and in the process create so much fear and anxiety that the problems become even worse, or we can pull our belts a notch tighter and get back to work. My opinion — the key to recovery will come from ethical, professional salespeople doing what they do best, making transactions happen!

For some crazy reason, negative events like this (the mortgage/credit crisis and 9/11) actually inspire me. As a lifelong sales and marketing person I feel, once again, the need for us to lead the way, to make whatever sacrifices we need to make, but ethically and professionally go out there and work hard to deliver value, and in the process, complete transactions. After all, nothing ever happens until a sale is made.

I continue to enjoy your publication and all that you do with Ethix.

Bud Boughton
Greenwood, Ind.

Response to Peter Pace

Whether one supported the Iraq war decision (I did) or not (you say you did not), you have to respect General Peter Pace’s responses to your questions. He does tell the truth as he knows it. I always had admired Pace, and now I respect him even more. Having been in the USAF and now active in our local American Legion Post gives me a different view of the military. We host wounded vets a couple times a year. They come to Sun Valley to learn to ski, or snowboard, or go whitewater rafting, etc. We meet men and women with missing limbs and/or partially paralyzed and/or horrific burns, and more. Their attitudes are almost unbelievable. Almost to the man they tell us they have no regrets. They say they would go back again even knowing they would come home with serious injuries. Indeed, some actually reenlist! It says a lot about the grit in their generation, and it bodes well for the future of America.

Your article “Connecting With Digital Technology” reminded me of an observation in China a few years back: Everyone had a cell phone, and they were constantly using them — even bus drivers as they were driving in busy city traffic. Your point about a giant leap for the masses without the underlying telephone infrastructure is right on.

I am glad I found Ethix.

Bob Nicholson
Sun Valley, Idaho

Peter Pace is quite a guy. David Gautschi leaves me confused. “Ethics are the norms of right and wrong in a particular culture” may be correct, but the ethics that are, are not the same as the ethics that IS. Ethics that are may be arbitrary. Ethics that IS cannot be arbitrary. Ethics is right, good, and TRUE. Truth is truth — knowledge requires truth. One cannot know something that isn’t true — knowing something requires that it be true. This illustrates a problem with those who deal with ethics. There’s a world of difference between Ethics and a collection of ethics.

Regarding “truth as (one) knows it”: It had better be the same as truth as someone else knows it. As above, one cannot KNOW something that isn’t true. Truth is truth.

We should be dealing with the ethics that IS.

Fred L. Fox
Tucson, Ariz.

I’ve just finished reading your Sept/Oct Ethix issue on General Pace, and I like it very much. I am going to share this issue with my peers.

Yen Lee
Seattle, Wash.