Answer 3 Short response Questions
Would it have been wrong for Darcy to lie in this case? Could there have been other things, short of an outright lie, that he could have said that would have pleased his employer? Would it have been ethical for him to do so (according to which ethical theory)? Lastly, what would Albert Carr say about this case?
During the 1980s the U.S. automobile industry suffered significant sales losses to foreign manufacturers – a fact we have discussed at length in class since your prof hails from Michigan (Motown baby!), the heart of the U.S. auto industry. The once dominant “Big Three” – General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler – were losing the competition to Japanese and European firms. As a result, the Big Three were experiencing large financial losses, U.S. autoworkers like my Grandfather were losing their jobs, and the American consumer, apparently, was benefitting from the competition by getting quality-built cars at reasonably low prices.
You all remember none of this because you were just babies or not yet born, but by the early 1990s a major public relations campaign began to encourage U.S. consumers to “Buy American.” (You can Google this and watch some of the old advertisements, if you like – we would have done so in class if there were still such a thing!) Supported by industry, labor, and many politicians, the “Buy American” movement promoted the purchase of American cars by appealing to patriotism, loyalty, and a responsibility to one’s fellow Americans.
As part of a story on the “Buy American” movement, the CBS news program 60 Minutes visited the Detroit auto show in January 1992. During this visit, two salesmen working at the General Motors Geo exhibit were questioned about the value of buying American products. One voiced strong support for the view that Americans should buy only American cars. The second, Matt Darcy, disagreed. While the cameras recorded his words, Darcy said, “If America makes a good product, buy it. If they don’t, I buy what’s good for my money. I don’t have to spend money because it’s American.”
When Darcy returned to his job as a salesman at Gordon Chevrolet in Garden City, Michigan, after the show was aired, he was fired. Gordon Stewart, owner of Gordon Chevrolet, justified this dismissal on the grounds that Darcy’s comments offended many customers who worked in the auto industry. Stewart was quoted as saying, “Truth is not the issue. You have to be careful.”
Darcy’s own parents, like my Granddad, were both assembly line workers for General Motors. Also, at the time of this issue, many so-called “American” cars were being manufactured at General Motors and Chrysler plants in Canada, while several Japanese manufacturers were producing “foreign” cars in the United States. These numbers, i.e. the number of American companies manufacturing their products outside the country and the number of “foreign” companies manufacturing in America, have increased drastically since the 1990s (a long time ago, indeed the decade of your birth, for many of you today). Oh and let the record show that Darcy wasn’t so off-base – the Chevrolet Geo, the brand new car he was there to promote, was poorly-built and unreliable in comparison to its Japanese and German competition (like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Volkswagen Golf – cars and brands that still exist to this day, meanwhile the Geo has been cast to the dung heap of history. Seriously, Google “the Chevrolet Geo,” too.)
Read “These 8 Men Have as Much Money as Half the World” by Emily Peck and “This CEO raised the minimum salary of his employees to $70k and now he’s doing it again” by Lauren M. Johnson. Pick a side and discuss which CEOs/Founders are doing the right thing morally in terms of how they distribute their company’s revenue to employees – is it the 8 wealthiest men in the world, or the other relative few who, like the Seattle CEO, attempt to economically empower their employees as well? Of the four philosophical ethical theories we have studied (EXCLUDING Free Market Theory), which one best supports the position you have taken? Why?
(evidence will be uploaded)
Read the Discussion Case titled “Executive Compensation. At the end of the Discussion Case, there are seven (7) questions to consider. Select ONE (1) question of YOUR CHOICE to answer as best you can. Be sure to write down the question itself so that I know which one you are answering.
(Source will be uploaded)
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