Printer Friendly

An unbiased estimate of present American competitiveness from deontological and teleological perspectives of utilitarianism.

INTRODUCTION

This article is written with some sentimental feelings about what happened to the author recently at an airport. The disrespect shown to people who were co- passengers in an airplane demonstrates that frustration has crept into our lives and we do take ourselves very seriously and disregard others as 'not of any consequence' or not as respectable. This decline in the American Value System is due to many factors which cannot be analyzed in this small article, but it is purely economic, and springs from insecurity of American lack of hegemony. It's all vividly clear that what is happening today has been fermented by connivance or was preempted 20 years back by an envisioning of an unjust and undeclared war called desert storm purely for economic gain but which misfired. The lack of ethics was the primary cause of war then and even now. Nothing has been gained after 20 years of war and it's not the same as it used to be since then for normal Americans.

Current Economic and Financial Barometer

Overall, US businesses still feel they operate at an advantage over global competitors, but this survey points to warning signs--such as loss of confidence in capital markets--that foreshadows strain. Such strain can worsen if the wrong policies are in place moving forward.

The first results are in from economy watch, and they are not great news for everyone. Simply put, it is not a good time to be an American. Last week they launched our economic indicators experiment, the world's first real-time Consumer Confidence Index from global economists at EconomyWatch.com. 48 Americans gave the US a rating of 562 (out of 1,000), broadly meaning that they expect the economy to stay the same. This is down from a confident 756 in mid May. In fact, responses in the last week have been on average below 500, meaning that most people in the US now believe things will get worse.

In contrast, according to Economy Watch, in "09 June 2011 according to a recent report by the organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD), Australia was ranked as the best advanced economy in the world to live in. The 2011 Your Better Life Index saw Australia attain extremely high scores in housing life satisfaction and the environment. The first two scores were not particularly surprising, especially after another recent study showed that Australians where the most relaxed nationality in the world when it came to household mortgages.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The Great Debacle of the Us--The Invisible Cause

The basis of American competitiveness truly depends good judgments about international situations so that America is strong inside and legitimate outside, because it is the only superpower which is been left with the power to intervene in others' affairs. There was a time when territorial integrity of nations were firmly observed by international bodies so a sovereign nation could say to the United States not to intervene because it is our internal affairs. There was a time when foreign intervention was not necessarily appreciated by strong nations, when the United States and Russia where both strong and the word balance was established, when nobody could intervene in somebody else's or third parties affairs. When the Soviets demised themselves by their folly of aggression in Afghanistan, it became the onus of the United States to justify interventions whether countries like or not. The notion of liberty started with the justification of its actions by tempting other countries to call for liberty and equality in those lands, whereas the call for liberty and equality is a far cry from realization. Such enticements only aggravated the cause of foreign interventions, on the pretext of giving democracy to countries which could not actually beget democracy because their institutions are not developed to sustain it. Furthermore, the whole fallacy of giving democracy to other nations brings problems to democracy at home. Now bringing so-called democracy to foreign nations which are incapable of going halfway is like giving better enticements of a wholesome meal provided they do not eat it all. It appears to me that this paradigm of giving democracy to those nations which are not capable of begetting democracy is a whole lot different than not intervening in their affairs in the first place. The whole world would be safe, if not totally safe, if territorial jurisdictions were not tampered with like beggars asking for food who are told that food is available provided you don't eat it all.

Ethics: The Only Basis of American Competitiveness

These videos are quite revealing and quite extraordinary. You may also watch some of the smaller recordings connected with the justice system, market economics, Mill's economic theory, Bentham's economic theory, and Adam Smith's general theory of wealth of Nations as applied lately to the United States of America during and before the days of continued depression and recession. What is surprising to me is that it all the talented discourses we have in the United States regarding economic assessment of our country does not pay tribute to the economic justice system we should have been enjoying, as our society boasts to be the most novel and the most dynamic and the most just society. Let me then take you to the most important feature of American society from the point of view of ethical theories--just business and just society where we can see the injustice and hence observe the debacle of American superiority from its pinnacle of glory to simpler basement in just 20 years due to missed placed war priorities. This is as simple as simple can be where misplaced emotions and misplaced priorities brought us to a continued war which sank as in a deep hole of indebtedness, trillions of dollars of indebtedness, with no jobs attend and no promises to keep. On top of that politicians on both sides of the aisle are taking recourse to misinforming the public as to why such a doomed state has come to life.

The Economics of Utilitarianism

The whole concept of American economics is based on welfare, rights, and justice propagated by economic utilitarianism for the principle of utility. Jeremy Bentham's, the father of utilitarianism, immortal contribution introduction to the principle s of morals and legislations stated,
   By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves
   or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the
   tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the
   happiness of the party whose interest is in question: or, what is
   the same thing in other words, to promote or two up holes that
   happiness.


From the above precept, Bentham derived a hedonistic theory which takes into account the net of pleasures minus the pains for a productive nation. His utilitarian theory was revised by John Stuart Mill with his objections to Bentham's theory, as propagated in his works called "Utilitarianism" (1863), where he attempted to provide insight about the principle of utility:
   The Creed which accepts the foundation of morals, utility, or the
   greatest happiness principle, horse that actions are right in
   proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to
   produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended
   pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the
   privation of pleasure.


The classical definition of utilitarianism is the following: "an action is right if and only if it produces the greatest balance of pleasure over pain for everyone." This can be interpreted i for different perceptions: consequentialism, hedonism, maximalism, and universalism. All these compartments of utilitarian theory can be applied to our national plight of economics today. But a critical analysis would show that the national situation does not belong to any specific category. For 20 years the country did not think of consequentialism. For 20 years the country never accepted hedonism. For 20 years the theory of maximalism for the society was disregarded. For 20 years the concept of the universe thousand for the rich and poor was so disparate that the rich got richer, even through the avoidance of taxes. For example, the corporations took shelter in tax loopholes, when the poor had to bite the bullet as the country was engaged in 20 years of undeclared war from Bush one to Bush two, to the Obama presidency. So the time has come to evaluate the two major concepts of utilitarianism for the benefit of the nation.

a. Act utilitarianism or AU : An action is right if and only if it produces the greatest balance of pleasure over pain for everyone

b. Rule utilitarianism or RU: an action is right if and only if it conforms to a set of rules the general acceptance of which would produce the greatest balance of pleasure over pain for everyone

This brings us to the theory of economic justice and the nature and value of economic justice as envisioned in the United States Constitution as the building block for the US justice system:

1. Distributive justice: this deals with the distribution of benefits and burdens to the privileged and underprivileged proportionately

2. Compensatory justice, which is a matter of compensating persons for wrongs done to them

3. Retributive justice, which involves the punishment of wrongdoers.

When somebody precipitates war, then distributive justice, compensatory justice, and retributive justice should take over the responsibility of reparations for the unjust actions.

One of the most important contributions of utilitarian theory for the wealth of the nation has been the cost-benefit analysis of a big adventure like war. If the graphs that have been shown above are to be believed, then we could do a moralistic calculation of where we're heading in terms of the costs of war or the benefits of war. Every year, jobs, earnings, and education for the Americans have gone lower and lower since the year 2000. Job creation has not been successful even though one prolonged recession has come and gone.

Lessons Learned: How to Find an Authentic Leader Today

Using effective interventions and using a learning management system in a Business Ethics and Organizational Behavior class, we presented the class of graduate students with a three stage questionnaire:: Psychological Capital of leader, Psychological Ownership of leader, and Authentic Leadership of leader who would do well for us in this tumultuous world governing or leading the country by the principle of AU or RU as defined above. These theories were explained in the ethics class during the semester. A pre and post survey of these students' perception of our leaders and their choice showed some significant learning outcomes. At the time of presentation, the "gain" demonstrating the above was not available. The results are awaited.

However to summarize the results, Authentic leadership questionnaire sought to find a leader who gives four elements to the nation and to the public--Hope, Optimism, Resilience, and Self Efficacy (HORSE). And in all these four elements or counts of leadership the leader has failed. In 2008-09--under Bush's watch--these indices were as bleak as they are today and no leader addressed those malignant conditions.

I recently went to a local Microfinance conference where the plenary speakers were the then Treasury Secretary, and the Chairman of Federal Reserve. They all said that under President Bush the budget had been balanced. As I was leaving, a lady stormed out of the room angered and yelled, "Thank God my husband is not here. He is a university professor and he would have been very upset to hear these fabrications in the name of American Competitiveness. This is not fair" I couldn't agree more, me, a university professor myself!

REFERENCES

Douglas, C., Fink, DD., & Ferris, G.R. (2004, winter). Emotional intelligence as a moderator of the relationship between conscientiousness and performance. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 10(3), 2-13. retrieved January 15, 2011, from http://ilo.sagepub.com/content/10/3/2.abstract

Luthans, F., & Yousseff, C. (2007, June). Emerging positive organizational behavior. Journal of Management, 33, 3 retrieved January 15, 2011, from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/leadershipfacpub/8/

Luthans, F. S., Norman, M., Avolio, B.J., & Avey, J.B. (2008, Feb.) .The mediating role of psychological capital in the supportive organizational climate. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29(2), 219-238.

Luthans, F., Avolio, B.J., Avey, J.B., & Norman, S.M. (2007). Positive psychological capital measurement and relationship. Personnel Psychology, 60, 541-572.

Luthans, F. (2002, Sept.). The need for and meaning of positive organizational behavior. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23(6), 695-706.

Youssef C., & Luthans. F. (2007). Positive organizational behavior in the workplace: The impact of hope, optimism, and resilience. Journal of Management, 33(5), 774-800.

Norman, S.M., Avey, J.B., Nimnicht, J.L., & Graber, N.P. (2010). The interactive effects of psychological capital and organizational identity on employee organizational citizenship and deviance behaviors. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 17(4), 380-391.

Avey J. B., Luthas, F., & Youssef, C. (2010). The additive value of positive psychological capital in predicting work attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Management, 36(2), 430-542.

Luthans F., & Youssef, C. (2007). Emerging positive organizational behavior. Journal of Management, 33(3), 321-349.

Hamid Khan, Our Lady of the Lake University
Where the US Has Lost Its Competitive Edge--Perceptions
from Recent Data

The percent of executives surveyed who feel the US has lost
competitiveness in the following areas

                                             2006    2009

Worker healthcare and pension costs            65      75
Access to capital                               8      73
Quality of US capital markets                  NA      71
Alternate energy sources                       38      39
Business ethics and corporate governance       13      38
Costs to customers and end users               30      37
Government policies that are pro-business      NA      35

Source: PwC, Management Barometer: American competitiveness, 2009

(1) PwC, Management Barometer: American competitiveness,
February 2009.
COPYRIGHT 2011 American Society for Competitiveness
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Khan, Hamid
Publication:Competition Forum
Article Type:Report
Date:Jun 1, 2011
Words:2289
Previous Article:Analysis of economic order quantity under Ecommerce paradigm.
Next Article:Analysis of leveraging Laredo's strategic location on Texas--Mexico border: a logistic perspective.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters