The Value Of Ethics
Every so often I hear about House and Senate Ethics Committees in the news. A buddy and I were talking about these mysterious entities over coffee. You know, neither of us fully understand exactly what these congressional committees do.
I figure their job is probably to procure ethics for Congress to use, though that’s total speculation. My friend disagrees sharply. He thinks these committees act as a sort of a firewall to prevent applied ethics from infiltrating Congress. I told him he’s being cynical.
Assuming I’m right, it got me to wondering how federal funds get appropriated for the acquisition of applied ethics. I mean, what line would that be in the federal budget? I confess that I don’t know how expensive ethics are, either. They can’t be cheap, otherwise, they would be used by congress way more often. Heck, I don’t even know how much they are allowed to spend on ethics, annually. But it seems obvious to me that spending more would be a big help to the country.
Yeah, I’m aware of the deficit thing. With the national debt looming larger all the time, members of congress have to be careful to avoid foolish government spending. To their credit, they have made some cuts everywhere, except the things most critical to the welfare of the nation – like their salaries. In any case, an increase in applied ethics spending could result in huge benefits for all of us, don’t you think?
Imagine what would happen if Congress could afford enough ethics to start acting … well, ethically. Think of the example it would set for the American people. No more backroom deals, bribes, tawdry sex scandals, etc. Our elected representatives could afford to act with impeccable moral and fiscal responsibility. People would say, “Hey, this ethics stuff works!” The majority of Americans might even start acting more like Congress.
Not only that, it could actually cure this entire deficit thing. Here’s how. I figure when citizens see how well applied ethics work, they would enthusiastically seek to acquire more for themselves. The demand could be staggering! An exploding ethics industry might just jump start this pathetic economy. But my buddy came up with the real clincher - the federal government could tax ethics! Think of the revenue! More tax revenue would almost certainly bail us out of this fiscal doom and gloom that pervades the country these days.
All right, I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking that maybe not everyone would like ethics as much as Congress does, even if made affordable, or governmentally subsidized. Well, no guarantees, but I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to set up a meeting with my congressman and senators and will get back with you. My buddy says I should hold off for a few days. He thinks we need to have coffee again and brainstorm about Congressional Intelligence Committees