Discussion Group Issues
Bill Schrader Pavilion
18 November, 2015
12 noon to 13:30
C G A E F B D
LCS Discussion Group
A – A pattern has emerged when a western country is attached by terrorists:
1 – day and night coverage of everything,
2 – strong statements from the lead politician, backed by all colleagues
3 – flowers and grief at all sites
4 – no holds barred investigation with intense coverage in the press
5 – overwhelming public support for the government
I do not see any conspiracy in this. The media use their ratings to dictate the extent of crisis coverage. But is there any way a dictatorship might improve their coverage of a similar incident? Think Turkey’s political manipulation of their Kurdish threat.
B – Volkswagen’s pursuit of profit broke both the law, and morality. It seems to be accepted corporate behaviour. Decades ago a Danish company, Grundfoss, was placed under the ownership of a foundation committed to social responsibility by its owner and founder. It now leads the world in water pumps with superior performance and low price. Is this the model we are looking for?
C – Valiant Chemicals tactic of buying patents for “orphan drugs and raising their price rapaciously” may or may not be legal, but it is disruptive. Should their be any limits on a companies right to set prices?
D – Has Europe accepted too many refugees? Will they now retrench? Any lessons?
E – Politicians fear to change their mind. Quoting a lot of research, Adam Grant argues that people dislike a rational change if it contradicts their strong belief. Often they resolve this dilemma by denying the rational option. When choosing a job, there may be a fine balance between good and bad consequences, but after the choice is made, freely of course, the new employee forgets the bad and basks in her happiness. Exon was all too human, when, after realizing that oil harms the climate, it decided to deny the fact. Should we forgive them?
F – Just for the fun of it, list three things you believe are absolutely right? Then on the second round you can disagree with some of your friends.
G – Since Ferguson St. Louis County towns can no longer balance the books with traffic fines, they now raise money by ticketing people for not walking on the right side of crosswalks; barbecuing in the front yard, except on national holidays; playing in the street; wearing one’s pants below the waist in public; and failing to have a screen on every door. They get more money than before. Is this progress?
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