Family values and ethics are part of business and mode of interaction in everyday activities. Politicians and government agencies often enforce laws and regulations governing activities in different professions or aspects of life to promote ethics as well as family values. The Clean Air Act (CAA) is one of the laws enacted by the American Congress in 1970 to regulate the emission of pollutants from business activities and mobile resources (O’Kane et al., 2016). It aims at protecting the public health and public welfare, which is through regulation of hazardous air pollutants. The ethics of CAA is that people should ensure that the activities they engage in minimize the pollution of air, which enhances the quality of life of the public through clean air. In other words, the law prohibits establishment businesses that pollute the air.
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Another prominent law is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that sets the minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, child labor standards, and record keeping. A typical parent would wish to treat their children well without exposing them to slavery or unfair work. Ethically, people should get remuneration that equals their quality of work and human dignity. Therefore, FLSA promotes ethics and family values of treating one another well even if they work for you. Lastly, the Dodd-Frank Act (2010) enhances transparency of chief executive pay compared to the average workers to avoid a scenario where the management gets supernormal pay at the expense of lower level workers (Parrino & Parrino, 2016). Ethically, the Act encourages good governance within the organizations and ensures fair consideration for employees.
Should the politicians be enacting laws to encourage ethics and family values? Yes. Politicians pass laws in relevant political offices and enjoy significant influence matters affecting the lives of people they govern. Therefore, they hold critical positions suitable for influencing the culture of ethics and good family values within their jurisdiction of governance. In one way or another, politicians have the responsibilities on the people electing them to office; one of the expectation of the electorate is creation of suitable national culture that promotes ethics and good values.
The corporate America should encourage culture of ethics and good values that put the needs of stakeholders when making decisions. One of the reason necessitating that is that most of the activities in the business world influence environment and daily livelihoods of individuals such that people can suffer when ethical regulations are lacking (Brown, & Sukys, 2012). For example, manufacturing company should not expose surrounding communities to excess air pollution in pursuit of profits and wealth maximization. Similarly, a wood logging company must conduct its business in consideration to the effects of deforestation. Therefore, pursuit of power without engaging in corporate social responsibilities because it would put many people lives at risk. Both government and private should observe ethics and family values when passing laws and making decisions. There is no difference in the way government or private entity implements ethics in its activities. It does not matter because the bottom line is ethics principles in operations of both the private sector and government entities.
- Brown, G., & Sukys, P. (2012). Business Law with UCC Applications Student Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
- O’Kane, S. R., Perlstadt, H., Reardon, J. Z., Rowe, A., Stein, J. T., Towns, C. L. W., & Wimmer, H. P. (2016). The Clean Air Act requires EPA to adopt a rule that truly protects people in downwind states.
- Parrino, R. J., & Parrino, R. J. (2016). SEC adopts rule to implement Dodd-Frank CEO pay ratio disclosure requirement. Journal of Investment Compliance, 17(1), 122-130.