Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

A National Ethics Agenda (2003-04)

Click here to watch a video of the "National Ethics Agenda" presentation.
Each segment can be accessed individually. Requires a working copy of either Real Player or Quicktime.

Introduction

Addressing Disparities in Income and Wealth
In the United States, the gap between the incomes of rich and poor people has grown substantially since the 1970s, and wealth inequality has shown a parallel increase. Globally, inequalities between rich and poor countries are also apparent, challenging us to consider whether extreme and persistent disparities violate ethical norms. Read the text of William Sundstrom’s presentation on Addressing Disparities in Income and Wealth.

Ethical Political Leadership: Speaking Hard Truths
As the recent California recall campaign and election demonstrate, many are unhappy with the quality of leadership among our politicians. But providing ethical leadership may well mean telling people what they don't want to hear—and possibly facing the wrath of the electorate. Read the text of Judy Nadler’s presentation on Ethical Political Leadership: Speaking Hard Truths.

Understanding the Ethical Dilemmas Facing Governing Boards
From corporations to universities to not-for-profit organizations, governing boards have recently come under intense scrutiny. Owners and the public rely on these boards to guide organizations toward their goals and to prevent improper behavior. To encourage accountability, we need to identify and understand the difficult ethical decisions all directors and trustees face.

Balancing Privacy and Other Rights
Santa Clara University Philosophy Professor Michael Meyer says, "Human beings are entitled to a basic respect, which requires some attention to their privacy." But privacy is not an absolute right. It must be balanced with other important values such as security and free speech.

Improving Public Dialogue: Media and Citizen Responsibilities
Journalists and citizens each have responsibilities for the quality of public debate. But too often journalists fail to give citizens the information they need, and too often, citizens hear only what they want to hear. Read the text of Jerry Ceppos’s presentation on Improving Public Dialogue: Media and Citizen Responsibilities.

Allocating and Stewarding Water Resources
Protecting our natural resources is a goal that sometimes takes a back seat to more pressing issues. But in the long term, our stewardship of oceans and rivers, our fairness in allocating water will have just as much influence on our future as the prosecution of war or the improvement of the economy. Read the text of Judy Nadler’s presentation on Allocating and Stewarding Water Resources.

Behind the Ethics Agenda