The Flywheel

Our Next Meeting: February 19th

Business Ethics: 101:
Beyond Damage Control
2 men shaking hands

How is it that even as courses, codes, and training programs have multiplied in recent years, the practice of business ethics does not seem to improve significantly?

Dr. David Gill, professor in ethics at St. Mary’s College visits Richmond Rotary to consider this question.




PROGRAM OF February 12th Meeting

sewing shopThe Program of February 12th was about Unions and the Labor Market in Mexico. Jim Young introduced Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Galen Ages who researched this subject for his Master’s Degree at the Autonomous Free University of Mexico City. Galen actually corrected Jim Young’s ‘Peace Scholar’ introduction, and in the process thanked Rotary for the two fine long term programs that promote better international understanding and peace.

Galen made the following points:

  • The Mexican labor market works essentially as a “closed shop”, against the general wishes of unions and labor organizers who want an ‘open shop’, in order to create more democratic decision making and transparency.
  • The Mexican labor system is corrupt and the corruption is actively supported by entrenched special interests in all levels of government including the judicial system.
  • The apparent goal is to keep Mexican wages artificially low by creating sweetheart contracts with large international industrial investors that have been pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the Mexican economy under NAFTA.
  • The corruption is not modern and goes back to the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century and the establishment of the political party ‘PRI’ which ruled Mexico as a single party state longer than the Communist Party ruled Russia.
  • The PRI lost its monopoly on Mexican politics with the election of past President Vincente Fox, but not much has changed.
  • Artificially low wages in Mexico, which often are not ‘living wages’ by Mexican standards are a primary contributor to illegal Mexican immigration to the United States.

Thank you Galen Ages for an illuminating and informative program about our Neighbor to the South.  And, thank you for being a Rotary Ambassador Scholar

- Pinch-hitting scribe, Jim Young