Where are there breaches of ethical behavior?

In this course, you have looked at classical ethical theories of utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. You have also examined different perspectives on ethical issues introduced by relativism, ethical egoism, and emotivism. For this paper, you will apply these theories and perspectives to a current issue.
Choose an ethical issue to write about. You may choose from the list below, or, with approval from the instructor, select a different socially-relevant topic. It is recommended that you choose a topic that you are familiar with or that you have some interest in exploring further. For the purposes of this paper, your topic should pertain to a current area of interest in the news and/or government policy forums.
Possible Issues

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Corporate executive compensation
Corporate contributions to political campaigns
Human trafficking
Mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex
The media and their responsibilities
Domestic surveillance
Whistleblowing in government or in a business
Religion in the workplace
Ethical problems of gambling
Progressive taxation rates
Immigration reform in the U.S. and/or abroad
Women’s equality

In your paper, you will apply ethical theories and perspectives to the issue that you select. You do not have to use all six, but you should apply at least two ethical theories and at least one ethical perspective in your paper. Make sure that you write primarily on ethical topics and concepts, aiming to be both balanced and intellectually driven in your work. You may share your personal views, but do not rely on opinions (yours or those offered by others) to make your case. Think about the evidence that helps to make your case and use it.
Address the following questions:

What are the ethical issues?
Where are there breaches of ethical behavior?
How could each ethical theory you cite help people think about what constitutes virtuous or ethical behavior?

Your draft must include at least three pages of text plus a title page and a references page. Your draft should include a clear thesis statement that states what you plan to argue. It should also explain how you intend to develop the final paper and include a list of the sources you intend to use.

Running head: ETHICAL CONTRIBUTIONS 1 (Including a Running head and page numbers help to keep your assignment organized.)
Are Contributions to Political Campaigns Ethical?
Joanna Student
SOC120: Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility
Dr. Ashford Instructor
June 20, 20XX

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Please be sure to note the format for the Final Paper. This paper contains an organized heading, a succinct and relevant title, page numbers, and a running header.

Ethical Contributions to Political Campaigns
A question that comes up frequently in political discussions is whether organizations
like corporations have too much influence over the political landscape today. Corporations
have many resources through which to effect political change, including lobbyists, quid pro
quo back door arrangements and campaign contributions. Because these funds can have a
large influence on who wins elections and the legislation that politicians support, it is
important for an educated citizenry to be aware of these contributions, and to consider their
ethical implications. I will argue that from the utilitarian perspective, indirect contributions to
political campaigns by organizations like corporations and unions can be ethical and should
be allowed so long as there are sufficient regulations in place to prevent undue harm that
might result from giving large organizations too much influence over the political process. I
will contrast this view with that of ethical egoism, which would argue that such contributions
are ethical inasmuch as they allow corporations to pursue their own long term interests.
According to the Federal Elections Commission (2004), “The Federal Election Campaign
Act (the Act) places monetary limits on contributions to support candidates for federal office
and prohibits contributions from certain sources.” However, corporations are allowed to create
separate bank accounts and then make donations from these accounts to political campaigns as
long as they are not connected directly to the operation of the business. The Final Paper will
discuss what happens when corporations set up political action committees or PACs.
Utilitarianism is the moral theory that actions are right or wrong in proportion to the
degree to which they promote the happiness of all concerned (Mill, 2008). Accordingly,
whether or not corporate campaign contributions are ethical will depend on the overall

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Begin the paper by identifying a social issue clearly and accurately.

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This section includes a comprehensive introduction and a clear thesis statement that effectively reflects the argument of the paper and links the chosen ethical theories and perspective to the chosen social issue.

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Government websites can be useful sources of information. Consider using information from relevant Government websites to support an argument related to the paper. When quoting sources, keep direct quotes brief and phrase related ideas in your own words.

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This section describes an ethical theory in a thorough, accurate and concise manner.

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It is good to begin with a clear statement of the meaning of the moral theory, followed with a citation.

consequences of such contributions. If a corporation’s making a contribution results in better
overall consequences than not making it, or than making a different contribution, then the
contribution would be considered ethical. On the other hand, if the contribution results in
more harm than good, then the contribution would be unethical. For instance, a contribution
to a candidate could be unethical if it results in benefits to the corporation itself, but does so at
the expense of many others in the society. The primary question of this paper is not whether
particular cases of such contributions are wrong, but whether corporate contributions to
political campaigns are wrong in general; that is, does permitting them have greater overall
consequences than banning them would have? I will argue that with careful oversight, the
benefits of such contributions can outweigh their potential harms, so allowing them is ethical
from a utilitarian point of view.
There are various reasons that representatives of a corporation may want to donate to a
political campaign. Corporations may be trying to advance their particular organizational
objectives or they may stand to garner an economic benefit. While a corporation will always
be concerned with its own future profits, this does not necessarily conflict with the interests of
society as a whole. In many cases, attempting to have a political influence that benefits the
corporation can also benefit society as a whole. For example, a contribution that helps a
corporation to succeed in the market place can result in the continued employment of
thousands of people, as well as the provision of important goods and services at lower prices.
Another example of the positive use of political contributions comes not from
corporations but from unions. According to the Center for Responsive Politics (2016), the
largest all-time contributors to campaigns has been labor unions such as the Service
Employees International Union (SEIU), which ranked number one with $228,096,452 in

Sticky Note
Apply ethical viewpoints independently and accurately.

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Examples can help to clarify important points.

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This passage clarifies the specific issue being addressed and the thesis of the paper.

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Taking a few key examples that can be referenced throughout the paper is a good way to tie ideas together. In this paper, the learner references the SEIU as an ongoing case study.

donations since 1989. They were far ahead of the next two contributors, which were the
National Education Association with $96,619,681 in donations and the American Federation
of State/County/Municipal Employees Union with $96,445,616 in total contributions. The
millions of dollars from these political contributions have served to promote the goals of their
union, which in turn promote the well-being of the many members of the American work
force that they represent.
The Final Paper will further explore the role of PACs in providing benefits to their
organizational members and society. Further, it will contrast possible negative consequences
that can result from allowing corporate contributions, with alternative approaches to
Ethical Egoism
Ethical egoism is the moral theory that one should do whatever is in one’s own
interests (Mosser, 2013). This does not mean that one should do whatever one feels like in the
moment, but that one should work hard to promote one’s greatest long-term success. When
corporations donate to political campaigns, they generally will do so with the goal of
promoting their own financial interests and thus are acting ethically according to the egoist
theory. Some may feel that this kind of self-interested influence is unethical. One can imagine
a business supporting legislation that promotes its own interests to the detriment of society as
a whole. For example, corporations have often used their considerable influence to create
legislation favorable to their own interests but not to the interests of employees, human rights,
or the environment (Burley & Hoedeman, 2011). Because a lot of harm can come to society
from such influence, some may feel that this degree of power in the hands of self-interested
corporations should not be allowed.

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Throughout the paper, thoroughly explain how the rough draft assignment will be further developed in the Final Paper.

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This section also begins with a clear statement of the theory, followed by a clarification of what it means.

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Employ persuasive and applicable information from credible sources to develop an ample analysis or synthesis of the topic.

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Considering strong objections is sometimes the best way to strengthen your points.

The Final Paper will further explore the metric by which we measure the ethicality
of an action based on its overall social consequences and, drawing from the ideas of Smith
(2007) and others, evaluate the societal implications of corporate pursuit of self-interest.
Donations from organizations to political campaigns can drive legislation and thus
have a major influence on public policy in this country. While this influence can have
positive and negative impacts, this paper argues that such contributions should be allowed as
they satisfy the ethical egoist goal of allowing corporations to promote their own interests,
and, at least when regulated, can satisfy the utilitarian goal of a promoting a happier society
as well. One significant difference between the two approaches is that the utilitari an view
would insist on certain regulations designed to limit the harmful results that could result from
organizations donating in ways that promote their own interests. However, the ethical egoist
would disagree, and maintain that the freedom of organizations to promote their interests has
the highest priority; thus, the egoist would likely oppose most kinds of regulations on
political contributions by organizations. Both theories appear to agree, however, that, at least
when carefully regulated, corporations should be allowed to make political contributions that
further their long-term interests.

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This learner ends this paper by providing a clear succinct conclusion that reiterates the central arguments being made in the paper.

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Independently and accurately apply ethical viewpoints to the ethical issue and considers the full ramifications of the application.

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It is nice to close with a brief reiteration of one’s thesis.

Burley, H., & Hoedeman, O. (2011, January). The best influence money can buy – The 10 worst
corporate lobbyists. New Internationalist Magazine, 439. Retrieved from
Center for Responsive Politics (2016). Service employees international union. Retrieved from
Mill, J. S. (2008). Utilitarianism. In J. Bennett (Ed.), Early Modern Philosophy. Retrieved from (Original work published
Mosser, K. (2013). Ethics and social responsibility (2nd ed.). Retrieved from
Smith, A. (2007). An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. In S. M. Soares
(Ed.), MetaLibri Digital Library. Retrieved from (Original work published

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The references page is separate from the main body of the paper and is composed in an APA format. This paper is distinguished by the use of more than the required number of scholarly sources. Be sure to bring in a sufficient number of sources to support argumen

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