Choose one (1) of the following Case Scenarios to complete.
Case Scenario 1:
You may remember hearing about Martha Stewart’s criminal conviction related to her sale of stock in a friend’s company based on an insider tip that the friend was selling his shares of his own company’s stock. (She actually went to jail not for the insider trading itself but for lying about what happened and her reasons for selling her shares of the stock.)
Consider this situation from each perspective of egoism, utilitarianism, duty-based ethics, and virtue ethics as you answer the following questions and give reasons for your answers based on each of those ethical theories.
- Is insider trading inherently wrong? Or is it only wrong because it is illegal?
- In what sense was it ethical for Martha Stewart’s stock broker to pass along to her the insider tip that her friend was selling off his stock in his company? In what sense was it unethical for the broker to do so?
- In what sense was it ethical for Martha Stewart to save herself from about $45,000 in losses by trading her stock based on the insider tip? In what sense was it unethical for her to do so?
Case Scenario 2:
Suppose you are opposed to the use of child labor in manufacturing because you think it is important for children to have an opportunity to go to school and play. Laws in the United States regulate child labor, but some countries allow it. In some situations around the world, a family depends on the child’s earnings to be able to afford to eat.
From the perspective of egoism, utilitarianism, duty-based ethics, and virtue ethics, answer the following questions and give reasons for your answers based on those ethical theories.
- Would you buy competitively-priced products if you knew that the low prices came from savings in manufacturing costs based on paying low wages to children in poor countries?
- If you learned that your employer manufactured, distributed, or sold products made using child labor, would you keep working there, if you were depending on your job to feed and clothe your own child?
- Would you advocate closing factories that use child labor, even if the result would be that the jobless children and their families would go hungry?