discussion questions 431

discussion questions 431.

Answer each of the questions with a minium of 150 words each!

1.What are some of the ways that various U.S. and State regulatory agencies might promote or discourage business activity?

2. How can we “guard the guards,” so to speak (paraphrasing Cicero, “Quis custodes custodies?”)? How are we supposed to know whether valid regulations are being properly enforced and that that enforcement authority (on our behalf) is not being abused or undermined from within the government itself?

3. So is “nothing getting done” really a symptom, rather than the cause and if so, what reframing of the problem has to happen before something can get done? Is it possible to reframe the debate–in it’s simplest form: “us vs them”?

4. Do you believe that some version of the two, combined, is workable? Can society (through government) establish an overarching goal or purpose (which is paternalism) that is compatible with allowing people to determine their own purposes and their own means to achieve them (which is libertarian)?

5. What do you think about a numbers-and-evidence-based approach Sunstein advocates?

6. Albeit anecdotal and based on your own experience, does safety sell today? Speculating further, could it be that the government in its regulatory role is only following consumer demand and that consumers in a free market system are behind this shift?

7. Do you agree that these decisions should be what the political system is for?

8. Coming back to the regulatory problem we are discussing this week and an apparent “lack of will” to address them, is there a bystander effect at play in our response, leaving many to throw up their hands (and aside from acknowledging “how awful”)? Is there such a thing as collective responsibility, which means that each of us bears some part of it, or not?

9. One of the issues in this Week’s material is the definition of the stakeholders in a business context and thus to whom consideration and obligations are owed. If the stakeholders are owners only, then that is one answer, but generally the term implies a greater reach than just direct owners of a business and could include employees, vendors/suppliers, other businesses as partners, even the public.

If managers work only for the investor-owners, who are the only stakeholders, then that leads to a different answer to what the obligations are than if that definition is enlarged.

How might the obligations change depending on who the stakeholders are? If the stakeholders do or don’t include employees, for example?

10. Doesn’t it matter to whom the management and the Board are beholden to? Are stockholder/investors representative of stakeholders such that the difference is not a material or significant distinction?


discussion questions 431

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