From the Editor – Issue 68

The world has been in an economic mess over the past two years. Last summer I had the opportunity to meet with Lord Brian Griffiths in his home in London, England, to gain his perspective on the issues. An economist by training, Lord Griffiths is currently vice chairman of the board of Goldman Sachs, and earlier in his career worked for Margaret Thatcher, with responsibility for the privatization of business in the U.K. We did a few updates in December, and the Conversation begins in this issue. We have also reviewed several books dealing with economics and capitalism. Two are posted initially, and others will be added over the next two months.

Looking ahead, we are preparing an issue on food and food distribution that will begin in March. There are many issues here affecting food domestically and globally: food safety, food availability, bioengineered food, organic food, even bio fuels that affect pricing and availability of food. We are planning our conversation with Greg Page, CEO of Cargill, the largest privately held company in the world with its focus on food distribution. We will also meet with an organic farmer in Idaho as we develop the ethics and technology issues of the food industry. Several books on this topic will also be reviewed.

We are also planning an issue on health care, looking at the controversial issues that have generated a great deal of heat as the U.S. has been developing its national health care system. We hope to look at this issue from a political/policy perspective and a health provider perspective. We welcome your inputs as we prepare this material.

* * * *

It has been several months now since we started the electronic version of Ethix. We are still working out some of the kinks, but we believe we are getting there. You will find almost all of the archived material from past issues now available at this site,, in a searchable and browseable form. We hope to have this completed by the end of January. One issue that has been identified is the need to maintain the integrity of each issue with an associated issue number. We are in the process of doing this.

We encourage our readers to spend time on the site and type a comment below as to ways we could make the material more accessible.

* * * *

As we complete the “naughts” and move into 2010, we recognize the naughts were rich in ethics issues. They created opportunity for discussion beyond anything we had anticipated when we started this effort in 1998. It would be great to no longer have any reason to continue this work, but that doesn’t look likely in the coming days.

We wish all of our readers the best for 2010.


Al Erisman
Executive Editor