August 21, 2002

Ethics and Regulation

Some good ideas from Bob Lewis on the recent corporate scandals and regulation:

Government regulation is what allows businesses to act ethically. Without regulation, those businesses that resort to any tactic to win have the advantage over those that restrict their behavior to conventional codes of ethics. Consequently, ethical CEOs should welcome government regulation, not fight it. It levels the proverbial playing field. The goal of an ethical CEO would be efficient regulation, not deregulation.

Now, my economic theory is a little rusty, but it seems to me that a perfectly free market isn’t a self-righting mechanism, it’s actually a system on the brink of chaos. Once any company has the slighest advantage, it starts a snowball rolling that gathers speed as that company gets larger and larger, gobbling up or crushing other companies, until it reaches the inevitable end result, a monopoly. The only things that can stop the trend are ethics and regulation. And if the past year has proven anything, it’s that we can’t trust business leaders to be ethical.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (0)

Comments RSS - Write Comment

No comments yet

Write Comment