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Ethics Environments

Robert Wechsler

What is more horrible than the scheme of two eastern Pennsylvania judges to fill two for-profit juvenile detention centers with thousands of youths who would not otherwise have been removed from their families and schools?

The fact that they could get away with it in the midst of a world of professionals – lawyers, social workers, police officers, and various court and juvenile workers -- all of whom knew that the youths were being unjustly harmed...

Robert Wechsler
Ethics training is a problem at the local level. It's expensive, and there aren't many experienced local government ethics trainers around. Online ethics training has recently become the answer, but even this is difficult to get people to do. As I wrote a couple of years ago in a blog entry and a comment to the City Ethics Model Code, many officials...
Robert Wechsler
When it really comes down to it (and it usually does), what is the greatest enemy of trust in government, or anywhere else for that matter? Greed, power, ego, loyalty? I'd put my money on (or against) rationalization, the ability of people to justify what they do and fail to do.

Here's what got me thinking about this, from a Reuters Business article yesterday written by Claudia...
Robert Wechsler
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It's refreshing to feel good after reading a mayor's statement in response to a warrant for his arrest. According to an article in today's Hartford Courant, Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez...
Robert Wechsler
When I wrote about the "industrial city" of Vernon, California a year ago, I didn't pay attention to a story that would, if it were true (allegations have been made but, as far as I know, not proven), make for a great movie, at least as dramatic as Chinatown, about municipal corruption in Southern California.

I highly recommend...
Robert Wechsler

Adolf Eichmann is the iconic extreme of the government bureaucrat. Not that any of us will hopefully ever be given orders like the ones he was given, but his simply following orders makes anyone question his or her own simply following orders.

There’s a lot more about government ethics that can be learned from Adolf Eichmann, I found from reading Hannah Arendt’s book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963). When one sees acts that are often done without...

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