Monday, October 29, 2012

More Lying Your Way to Success

This post questioned the effect of politicians (law-makers) who lie with impunity under the protection of political free speech as role models for students. Lying, of course, is not limited to the political realm.  But as with politicians, it may be employed intentionally as a strategy for success - even in unlikely areas.

NPR recently interviewed Bloomberg Markets senior writer David Evans about an investigative report in the October issue of Bloomberg chronicling the practice of fundraisers who lie to potential donors about the percentage of the raised funds that are being paid to the charities. And, amazingly, the charities agree to the practice!  According to the report, some charities actually  agree to contracts with the fundraisers that pay no funds at all to the charity.  The charities' rationale is that donors will hopefully become used to donating to their cause and that future donations may increase. In explaining his charity's agreement with the fundraiser's policy of lying to donors, one spokesman pointed out that, "If we came into it and said, 'Geez, I'm not going to make a dime on this,' do you think we'd have anyone who'd give us money?" Can anyone say "scienter?"

Sure, lying in this manner is illegal, but the sanctions are so small in relation to the take that it is profitable fraud.

What does it mean to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit when this is the business that you create?  Should "job creation"include starting a business that takes on-line courses for overworked students, or sells research papers, or takes your SAT's for you? I fear for our brightest students who misunderstand the concept of "risk-taking" to include legal risks in the pursuit of profit.There are far too many examples out there.

InfoCision is mentioned in the Bloomberg report:

InfoCision creates hundreds of new jobs with good pay in Ohio:

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