The term transparency has become a hackneyed buzzword as it applies to government. The natural inference is that a transparent government, means an ethical government. But that begs the question, why can’t we just trust that government, made up of people with good intentions, will just do the right thing? Ultimately government is made up of people, and people even those with the best of intentions, are human and subject to the entire panoply of misfeasance and malfeasance.
The Vermont Ethics Commission will soon be kicking off its inaugural meeting. The Commission was created by the legislature over this past session and full details on the Commission and its purposes can be found here. Whether the Commission is successful, will ultimately depend on the time and resources it is allotted to carry out its functions.
We are fortunate to live and work in Vermont. Up until now, we have not been plagued with a host of ethical dilemmas like so much of the outside world. But times are changing. The purpose of this blog is in part to explore that changing world and the flattening of the Earth, that in turn has created complicated ethical dilemmas, even in a small, relatively isolated state like Vermont.
Maple Syrup, Phish and Ben and Jerry’s are nice symbols, but represent the carefully curated, outward projections of our state. Here we’ll take an inward look and hopefully serve as a platform for debate and discussion of what it means to be ethical and how that term is being interpreted by the various entities charged with regulating ethics and associated conduct.
As the name for this post suggests, one of the first codified systems of ethics was the Bible. While that document may have served certain populations well for centuries, it was not designed to cover the complexities of contemporary life. In the posts ahead, we’ll look at some of the constructs that do serve that purpose, explore how they serve it and discuss ways of improving the system.