IS EVERYONE CHEATING?

IS EVERYONE CHEATING?

Matt HealeyWednesday,31 July 2013

The Snap:

Recently SAC Capital was charged with insider trading. This concludes a long investigation into the firm and Steven A Choen, the founder. So far several traders at the firm has been indicted on insider trading charges. While this is going on Ryan Braun was suspended for the remainder of the MLB season for using PEDs and the sports world is waiting for the suspension of A-Roid.

The Download:

Is everybody out there cheating? Lance Armstrong, A-Roid, Braun, Anthony Weiner, Choen, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to name a few. I am sure there are a lot more public figures that fall into this category who have been caught (and other who have not been caught). The topics and the type of cheating covers all aspects of life. Politics, sports, business, it just keeps going.

The cycle has to stop. One of the problems that was highlighted in Michale Lewis’ article “Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds” was that once everyone believes that everyone else is cheating then it becomes easier to justify cheating yourself. From the article:

“The Greek people never learned to pay their taxes… because no one is ever punished. It’s like a gentleman not opening a door for a lady.”

This is similar to Armstrong’s justification. He didn’t feel like he was doing anything wrong because “everybody” was doing it. The feeling was the same for Major League Baseball players during the steroid era: “I can’t compete unless I am on the juice because everyone else is juicing. Playing by the rules puts me at a competitive disadvantage.” The only way to reverse this trend is for the punishments to become so severe that people will not cheat. Second chance — and by second we usually mean 15th — have to go away. Until this happens the cheating will continue. What are severe punishments? Here is my list:

Braun: Forfeit his MVP, a lifetime ban from baseball and a $50 million fine.

Armstrong: Stripped of all cycling wins, lifetime ban from cycling and at $70 million fine (10 for each tour).

A-Roid: Forfeit all records and awards, lifetime ban from baseball and a $250 million fine — the value of his last contract.

Choen: Forfeit all assets — he should be left with $5,000 in a checking account, the clothes he’s wearing and a subway metro card with $10 on it.

Weiner: Chemical castration

Maybe I am a bit harsh, but if we want the unethical behavior to end, then the punishments must be harsh.

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Image Credit: Flickr



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