Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ehrenreich issue 3

3. In 1996 the number of persons holding two or more jobs averaged 7.8 million, or 6.2 percent of the workforce (page 45).

Ehrenreich issue 2

Here is the second issue from Nickel and Dimed. See the post below for instructions on how to respond.

2. Nearly one-fifth of all homeless people [in 29 American cities] are employed in full- or part-time jobs (Page 26).

Nickel and Dimed questions

To avoid interrupting her narrative, Barbara Ehrenreich frequently places statistical information in footnotes at the bottom of the page. This set of three posts asks that you respond to some of this information. You are not required to do independent research to determine for certain whether her statistics are accurate. You are asked only to respond by considering such questions as: Do her numbers sound credible? If they are accurate, is the issue she describes a matter that should be of concern? Does it represent a good or a bad business practice? Does it represent an ethical practice? Would you willingly work for a company that carried on such practices?

You need not answer each of those questions for each issue raised; they are included simply to try to help you find suitable ways to respond.

The first issue appears below. The other two are in separate posts to make it easier for you to respond.

1. Eighty-one percent of large employers now require preemployment drug testing, up from 21 percent in 1987 (Page 14).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Question three

This is the third ethical question. See the first question for instructions.

3. Orwell writes, "A beggar, looked at realistically, is simply a business man, getting his living, like other business men, in the way that comes to hand. He has not, more than most modern people, sold his honour; he has merely made the mistake of choosing a trade at which it is impossible to grow rich."

Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?

Question two

This is the second ethical question. See the entry below for instructions.

2. Orwell writes that the patron of the hotel gave plongeurs two litres of wine a day, "knowing that if a plongeur is not given two litres he will steal three." Suppose that you are a supervisor at a hotel or fast-food restaurant and you become aware that some employees are supplementing their pay by sneaking out food or beverages. How do you respond?

Ethics question one

You have been discussing ethics in your business class. Ethical considerations also are crucial at several points in George Orwell's "Down and Out in Paris and London." Please respond at some length (250-350 words or so) to one of the three questions posed here. Make shorter comments on each of the other two questions, either by responding to a comment that already has been posted or by adding an original insight or opinion. To make commenting easier, each question will be posted separately. All three posts should be on the blog by 10 p.m. Monday, September 18.

1. At one point in "Down and Out in Paris and London," Boris steals food from his workplace in order to feed his unemployed friend. Is this ethical behavior? If your answer is no, then are there some circumstances under which this behavior would be ethically justified? Assume for purposes of this question that no other food sources are readily available -- no food stamps, no rescue missions, no family or other friends.

Initial post

This is an initial test post.