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Take a moment to review the Lake Champlain Basin Program: State of the Lake 2018 website at http://sol.lcbp.org/en/ (Links to an external site.) (it it easier to work with if you right-click on the link and open in a new window) and discuss the major environmental issues with the lake. Pollution, specifically from phosphorous, has been is a major concern. What are the key ethical issues associated with this topic?
This can be a surprising complex issue involving government (Federal and State), stakeholders, business, and individuals. For example, who bears the burden of the costs associated with remediation? Feel free to introduce academically legitimate external sources to enhance your discussion.
Please respond to two students. Respond to the two students separately
Cyanobacteria blooms can form a toxin called cyanotoxins, which is known as a powerful natural poison. Cyanotoxins can make people, pets and wildlife sick, without a known remedy. The bacteria can form from multiple different nutrients and pollution Lake Champlain gathers, but exposure to high levels of phosphorus and warm weather create the ideal scenario for a bloom.
Shallow water can’t dilute the phosphorus that is coming from local watersheds and from the bottom of the lake fast enough, especially during the warmer season. This makes these areas more susceptible to having a bloom of this toxic algae. The way the Lake Water Basin Program explains, decreasing the phosphorus levels will give the cyanobacteria less chance of blooming to a toxic point.
One way they are trying to reduce these phosphorus levels is by replacing combined sewers to a separate pipe system. The combined sewers are an issue because they are dispersing high levels of water and can be overwhelmed easier than having the separate piping. When the amount of water becomes to much for the water treatment plants, the overflow pipes release partially treated, or even non treated, water back to the lake.
The reason why this hasn’t happened yet is because states, surrounding Lake Champlain, have said it is too expensive to change the combined sewer systems. Not making this change is greatly affecting our community. We will see less tourist finance during our beach season and less people fishing for personal and business. That can create a great toll economically, including the possibility of more restrictions and laws to how we get our clean water.
One of the first environmental concerns that are happening to Lake Champlain is pathogens and bacteria. When pathogens are in the lake they continue to impair water quality and cost a lot to eliminate. Efforts have been made to try to reduce these concerns and since 1990 they have been working on reducing pathogens and bacteria that are in Lake Champlain. Another concern is phosphorus. Phosphorus is a nutrient that influences lake health and cyanobacteria blooms. Forms of phosphorus in fertilizer and wastewater treatment are more likely available for cyanobacteria growth. Having excessive phosphorus concentration can have an impact on a lake’s ecosystem and is one of the leading causes of cyanobacteria blooms. In Lake Champlain, phosphorus concentration hasn’t decreased in decades and they are trying to figure out how to fix that issue. One of their goals is addressing developed land that is contributing to phosphorus in Lake Champlain. “High storm flows increase erosion of streambanks, sending more sediment and nutrients downstream to the Lake. Large surges of runoff from developed land can increase the severity of downstream flooding, causing property damage. Green infrastructure designs can reduce these high storm flows by slowing down and storing runoff, thereby reducing the amount of water and nutrients delivered to the Lake” (Phosphorus).
Another key component that has been causing phosphorus is agricultural land. Farming is very big in Vermont, but it can have a big impact on water quality from Lake Champlain. Runoff and erosion from a barnyard, laneways, and animal congregation can carry excessive pollution to nearby waterways like Lake Champlain. They are looking at several issues and concerns for Lake Champlain, but the problem is how expensive all this could be to fix. I think the big ethical issue is the government figuring out how to handle farms on what they can and cannot do. I think ethically farms should be complying with what the government says because they are trying to protect the lake and have there be clean water. On the other side, the government should also focus on the other reasons why there is a high level of phosphorus concentration in the lake.
Phosphorus. (2018, June 27). Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://sol.lcbp.org/en/clean-water/phosphorus/
Please respond to two students
Question: We are introduced to (1) The Contractual View of the Manufacturer’s Duties to Consumers, (2) The Due-Care View of the Manufacturer’s Duties to Consumers, and (3) The Social Costs View of the Manufacturer’s Duties to Consumers. Offer an example of a company and product that that fits the profile of either the contractual view, the due-care view, or the social costs view of manufacturer’s duties to consumers.
Please respond to two students. respond to each student separately!
Student 1: A good example of when due-care was neglected is the famous case in the 1970s and the Ford Pinto. This car was allowed to be manufactured and sold to the general public even though the company knew that the placement and design of the fuel take would make it more likely to explode or catch fire if the car were involved in an accident. I think that this example highlights a time when a company disregarded business ethics and these moral contracts that exist with a consumer in order to make a profit on their car. This did end in investigations, lawsuits and recalls and eventually resulted in more regulation by governments in order to protect consumers from another situation like this.
Student 2: The company that I looked at for The Due-Care View of the Manufacturer’s Duties to Consumers was Owens Corning Corporations. The reason I looked at them was that they had a duty to deliver a product that lives up to expectation, but also has a duty to exercise due care to prevent others from being injured by their product and I felt Owens Corning Corporation failed to do so. Owens Corning is an American company that develops and produces insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites, and related materials and products. From 1950 to 1972 they had asbestos which is a toxic material to its ceilings, tiles, cement, and insulation for pipes, ducts, equipment, and cold storage systems. At the time, asbestos was widely used because of its natural heat resistance. Owens Corning began facing asbestos lawsuits in the late 1970s. Over the next three decades, it was named in hundreds of thousands of asbestos lawsuits. By 2000, it had settled with 440,000 people who claimed Owens Corning’s products caused them to develop asbestos-related illnesses. They did not provide due care to their consumers and with that cost thousands of dollars from the consumers affected by them.
Respond to two students.
Question: Velasquez (2018) states “the right to privacy can be defined as the right of persons to determine what, to whom, and how much information about themselves will be disclosed to other parties.” (p 274). This serves as the segway to the discussion on privacy within a business context. The balance between the consumer’s right to privacy and the legitimate needs of business is a subject that generates much discussion. Table 6.2 Business Efforts to Respect the Right to Privacy is offered as an approach to balancing the two.
Is the table sufficient from the consumer’s perspective? Is the description adequate for the consideration (Purpose, Relevance, Informing, Consent, Accuracy, Security/recipients/and uses)?
Please respond to two students. Respond to the two students separately!
I would say yes, Table 6.2 is sufficient from the view point of the consumer. As much as I would have like to have read reviews on the several considerations taken for privacy, Velasquez’s citations weren’t clear enough for me to study the table used. Each variable within the table was direct and specific about how the information the consumer gives is used. To summarize:
Purpose – The action for using the information, voluntarily, given by the consumer must be a legitimate business need. For the need to be legitimate, the need must “result in benefits that are generally enjoyed” by the consumer.Relevance – The information that pertains to the situation is the only information voluntarily given by the consumer.Informing – The consumer must be informed that their information will need to be collected in the situation.Consent – Consumer must explicitly or implicitly consent to providing their information.Accuracy – The agencies collecting the information must be able to accurately store it.
The only way I can see something becoming used against the consumer, is the idea of implicit consent. Implied consent is the assumption of receiving consent based off of another person’s actions. Now, that would work in a perfect world and everyone is considered a reasonable human being. Other than that, everything within the descriptions are focused on making sure the consumer is free to make their own choice without feeling coerced.
Student 2: I think that the table shown in the textbook gives an adequate description of each facet of the consumers right to privacy. I do think that the the issue of consent when it is implied based on action is a tricky thing. I think that in general consumer consent can be a trick thing. Again, using Facebook as an example, can anyone really say that they have read through the user agreement that we have to convent to in order to use the platform? We are giving consent for a company to purposefully use our data to make money, as a business does. But does it count if the user has no idea what they are agreeing too? The user agreement Facebook provides covers themselves legally, but it isn’t easily digestible by the every day user of the platform. This also ties into the informing aspect of privacy. Are they really informing us or are they just doing the bare minimum in order to protect themselves while maximizing users? Facebook is not the only company that does this as Apple and Google and other tech giants often are not transparent about their data usage.
Respond to two students.
Question: How do individuals benefit from having health insurance? Why has health insurance received a lot of attention recently?
Please respond to two students. Respond to the two students separately.
When I think about how individuals benefit from having health insurance from a personal financial standpoint. I immediately think of health insurance as a way to proactively predict medical cost. Obviously health insurance is not a 100% safety blanket and unexpected health insurance cost could still occur if something major happened and it was not covered by insurance. But like the article https://www.dinsmoresteele.com/dinsmore-steele-blog/5-benefits-of-having-health-insurance (Links to an external site.) says health insurance gives you a piece of mind “If you become extremely ill or injured, your health plan will cover emergency and some or all of your surgery expenses. It also gives individuals a peace of mind knowing that they have right to use to medical services and are able to live life without any concern. Disease which when occur with or without anticipation is sure to disrupt the peace of mind however when the illness is not cured in time due to lack of time it is surely going to bother the mind if there is an extra burden of finances on an individual”. Rather than not having any clue how much you are going to need to spend on health care per year health insurance at least gives you a predictable fee for your finances. For example my health plan is 81 dollars a week then I have a deductible each year I must meet before the insurance covers things but that deductible is low and then I also have an out of pocket max that I could be required to spend each year which I think on my plan is $7,000 so for example say I needed a surgery and it cost $50,000 the most I can possibly spend on that is $7,000 because I have an out of pocket maximum and insurance covers the rest. Health insurance to me is the most important benefit you can have from a company besides salary. When I was younger I had an unexpected hospital trip and had no insurance at the time that I ended up having to pay for for years I couldn’t be a bigger advocate for health insurance when it comes to financial planning.
Health insurance has gotten so much attention lately because it is a huge political topic and during the presidential election and the primaries before hand health insurance was a major point of conversation and debate for the candidates. Some believe in free health care for all while others believe in private insurance that you don’t have to have etc. Also the Affordable Care act has been a major discussion over the past year and health insurance and Obamacare and the affordable care act will continue to be huge topics of discussion for the coming years. As much as I am a huge advocate for health insurance and having it that is because I can afford it health insurance is a very expensive thing and the price does need to be regulated and figured out for people who are struggling to afford health care. A good article on this is https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20200313.368916/full/
The cost of healthcare is extremely expensive. If an uninsured person has a medical event requiring necessary medical care, the out-of-pocket expense (even for a single event) could wipe out the entirety of an individual’s wealth. As a result of technological medical advancements and their associated costs, health insurance has become very expensive as well. People are living longer as a result of these advancements, which has increased the average age of the population as a whole. As an individual ages, they require increased medical care for longer periods of time—Therefore, the overall increase in demand for healthcare has driven the cost of healthcare up. Additionally, preventative medical services for younger individuals help to maintain good health over the long-term and, as its name suggests, helps to prevent serious health problems through early identification and intervention (i.e., regular health exams, mammograms, and various other screenings).
Despite the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, which was instituted in an effort to prevent widespread serious health problems by mandating coverage, one-in-five workers still cannot afford health insurance (Madura 2017). A cyclical pattern of unaffordability has emerged from uninsured workers getting sick and requiring emergency care they cannot pay for. The cost of emergency care then gets passed on to others and raises prices for care and insurance, which makes coverage even more unattainable. There still exists a nearly equal political divide among American states in favor of repealing the ACA vs preserving it. The ultimate decision on the constitutionality of the case now called California v. Texas will likely be made this Spring (CDPP 2021).
Madura, J. (2017). Chapter 12: Health and Disability Insurance. In Personal Finance (6th ed.) (pp. 346-47, 355-56). Boston: Pearson.
Suit Challenging ACA Legally Suspect But Threatens Loss of Coverage for Tens of Millions. (2021, February 18). Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/suit-challenging-aca-legally-suspect-but-threatens-loss-of-coverage-for-tens-of