Some people, events and sources seemingly never cease to provide teaching opportunities and materials for our courses on law and ethics. I have previously credited Lindsay Lohan for the treasure trove of litigation that her travails have provided. But I think that Donald Trump has, and will for many years, provide us with a wealth of teachable moments.
Today's example comes from his comments in the presidential debate. First, when challenged by Secretary Clinton over his failure to pay income taxes, Mr. Trump responded as indicated in the video clip below from the second debate:
In the first :50 of the clip below from the first debate, Mr. Trump gave his view on business regulations:
So, placing Mr.Trump's positions side by side, we hear:
"Don't rely on business people to do the right thing on their own. Socially responsible conduct must be enforced by law. But laws that seek to enforce socially responsible conduct are bad for business and government should reduce or eliminate them."
Is this just another iteration of the narrative of: "Regulations that protect me from that other guy are good, but regulations that protect the other guy from me are oppressive."?
Regardless of what happens in the election, Donald Trump has now become the most visible example of American business culture and conduct. Students may see a failure to counter these examples in a business ethics course as affirmation of their value. Is this the business culture that we seek to foster in our students?