118 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 22.05.2021

May 23, 2021 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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After a long break (since November), we finally had a meeting again in the Gallery.  

The Topic for this month was “Business Ethics”:

https: //www.ted.com/talks/alexander_wagner_what_really_motivates_people_to_be_honest_in_business

Alexander Wagner is a researcher and economist, the talk was interesting, even a bit uplifting, but it should have a had a psychological part as well which an economist cannot deliver.

Mr. Wager tested people on their ethics and found that they have “protected values” which the participants respect even if they forego a money gain if they ignore the values. Good news..

Business can give Rules of Good Conduct, or incentives which may backfire and lead people to digress, or they can hire god people who have these protected values.

He didn’t answer the question how to look into people’s brains and find out what their ethics are.

There were some big ethics failures in Companies, from BBC to Chernobyl, maybe now also AstraZeneca. Michael J said that the decision makers want to avoid being caught, and their good name is in danger if they get caught but everyone has a price. A coffee shop owner was put on display in 1990 in Portugal because he had overcharged 5 escudos to some clients, and still today, such a rip-off happens to tourists (or people who look like tourists) in small businesses. On the other hand, in Kenia, due to the Pandemic and the loss of tourism, local people pay less in tourist spots and learn to see the beauty of their land because the prices are affordable for them.

The big corporations have no such qualms, look at the German auto industry scam with the help from Bosch software. Darwin rules, it is a fight with the competition, and every company wants to survive and gain profits. Michael J say that the Devil made the 20th century …

How to counter such tendencies? By educating the children well and with a functioning religion.

People have become more egoistic, it is a “me” economy, self-care, especially for the young people. But in middle age, persons usually turn toward “inside” and perceive that egoism doesn’t serve them anymore

Christianity asks for sacrifices, for the good of others. We also spoke of confession. It is often misunderstood as a “carte blanche” which it isn’t. You are only forgiven in Confession if the priest believes you are repentant. Again, can we look into the person’s head?

Drug abuse has increased (although there always was alcohol abuse) because people don’t know their purpose in life. Contemplative prayer, which is being taught by Father Richard Rohr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Rohr ) to young priests, should also be done in church. (Listening prayer and contemplative practices are done in the Anglican Church.)

Cl. sad that studies showed that in all big world religions, suicide, drug abuse and adultery are evenly distributed, which shows that the big religions do not have the answers for these people. With our western lifestyle, pressure on people makes them do things they would not do if they didn’t have to feed a family and keep the job.

Cl. said that Codes of Conduct in companies are bullshit, they don’t work Banking is the worst cheating industry. And corruption is a slow process: people may start out optimistic in a company and slowly be converted by the company culture to accept wrong behaviour.

We have to make compromises in life. Cl. and K. want to visit their daughter in Germany and have to take the flight, although they would want to avoid the CO2 emission.

C. told the story that after the 2010 flood, people couldn’t use the tap water and Hiper Sà increased the price on bottled water. The people never forgot that behaviour and the company went down from then on.

But: There are positive economist models e.g. the Doughnut economy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doughnut_(economic_model)

Some cities (Amsterdam) are already using this model.

We also spoke about measuring the economy. We should get away from the Gross Domestic Product (in the Pandemic, the measure R(t) is not that important anymore, the number of intensive beds used it now more preside to measure the situation etc.)

The state of Bhutan makes surveys and uses a Happiness Index of their people, this is how the Government checks if it is doing a good job:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_National_Happiness

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