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1. 
Respond to two students.
Question:  We see the topic and theme of globalization threaded throughout much of our work on the subject business ethics. In the broader context of government, markets, and international trade, current economies contain elements of traditions, commands, and markets where the balance of those elements can vary significantly. Velasquez (2018) examines two important arguments for free markets: moral rights and utilitarianism. As stated by Velasquez, “Controversies over globalization and free trade are but the latest episodes in a great and centuries-long ethical debate over a single question: Should governments allow businesses to trade freely among themselves without interference, or do governments have the right and the duty to impose restrictions on business activities to protect their citizens?” (p 124).
Discuss your response to this question. Offer supporting evidence for your position.
Please respond to two students. Respond to the two students separately
Student 1:   
I feel like when these topics are discussed, we often talk about them like it has to be one way or the other without any possibility of a give and take relationship. After reading the chapter for this week the dominant theory around government involvement was not a positive one. Locke argued that without government involvement, humans would exist in a idealistic but “very unsafe, very insecure” state of nature. Only because of the turbulent state of nature, people would form a government to protect their natural rights (Velasquez 129). Adam Smith argues that any government involvement would disrupt the invisible hand of the free market all together, so it should be avoided (Velasquez 137). 
I feel that without some government intervention the risk of harmful business practices would be rampant globally. Out textbook gave an example of how the Thai government tried to intervene when a drug company was charging monopoly prices for a necessary AIDS drug that was developed. I do understand that patents and intellectual properties exist, and that company’s need to make their money back from the long process of developing these drugs. What I don’t agree with is exploiting peoples needs for these drugs in order to make a larger profit. Companies who develop life saving drugs should be doing so to benefit the people in the world who are sick, and I could even argue that it is the sole moral purpose for doing such work, not to capitalize on the misfortune and sickness of others. When a government recognizes that their people are being exploited, they have the right to step in. When it comes to these monopolies around things that are a necessity, governments and companies should try and collaborate a situation which benefits everyone. 
Student 2:  
The debate of whether or not the government should have their hands in something has been a topic for my current lifetime. Does the government have the right to pick and pry at something that was built without them? My quick answer is no. The thought out answer would be taking in to account the extra power some corporations have even with the government keeping an out on them. Without the government ruling these companies, the companies would be able to go to the more unethical side of the business plan.
As I was reading the chapter John Locke’s point of view of natural rights made me think of an over optimistic yet not rational idea on how things would work without the government. Suggesting that all the feelings people have and that the hate that the world has already pushed on would just be ridiculous. As much as I would love to be in a world like that, it’s just not practical. That’s where I think the negative rights vs, positive rights plays it’s part. 
2.
Please respond to two students
Question:  
Be sure to read:
3.2: Free Markets and Rights: John Locke;
3.3: Free Markets and Utility: Adam Smith;
3.4: Free Trade and Utility: David Ricardo;
3.5: Karl Marx and Justice: A Critique of Free Markets and Free Trade.
Discuss your view on free markets and offer a supporting example.
Please respond to two students. respond to each student separately
Student 1: 
One major thing that stood out to me when reading Locke’s theories on free markets and natural rights was based in aspects of “moral principals God gave to humanity and…the use of God-given reason” (Velasquez 129). I think that this fails to recognize how people can be morally corrupt, how global influences act on these moral principals and hope people interpret “God” from one place to another. I don’t disagree with some aspects, like the ideal that governments will form to protect people rights from being infringed on by others, but overall I feel like Locke’s theories focus too much on the individual and less on the impact of these actions on the community. The textbook also highlights that “Unless government intervenes to adjust the distribution of property that results from free markets, large groups of citizens will remain poor while others grow ever richer” (Velasquez 132). We see this happening right now in our own country, where the top 20% of the population own more wealth than the bottom 40% by a significant margin (Velasquez, Table 3.1, 133). I believe that this comes from the “significant influence on American institutions” that Locke’s theories had during the formation of this country (Velasquez 130). Individualism is a key concept in many economic theories including Adam Smiths. I think, again, these ideas focus too much on the individual making a profit and less on those who are providing labor and consuming the products. While competition is healthy, and Smith bases his theory around the self-regulating competitive market, he fails to recognize the real issue of monopolies. What roll does government play when people are being exploited? 
Marx has some interesting thoughts on the free market. Some aspects I do agree with. The idea that we are selling out labor for less than what it is worth because the need to survive is a compelling topic (Velasquez 146). And one that I feel like resonated with many. Like all of these theories, I do feel like these three individuals were focused on what they were experiencing in the world around them at the time, and I cant fault them for not knowing what the future would look like. There are some issues that are still relevant when discussing Marxism as it relates to moral issues like child labor. I feel as though companies are morally obligated to move away from exploitive labor practices because it is the right thing to do. Companies Puma, Nike and Adidas make enough money to be able to not have to use child labor. I personally see no argument from objection to this. Marx’s was right in his interpretation of alienation not allowing people to fill their desires in this situation because children have no other choice. They are not protected. I don’t know if getting to Marx’s inelastic version of society is at all possible because people do have different moral goals. The idea that “everyone would contribute according to his or her abilities, and receive according to his or her needs” does seem a little impractical. But that could also be because for the last 300 years we have known nothing other than free markets and individualism as a way of governing the economy.
Student 2:  
It is quite easy to discern the pros and cons of a free market and of government involvement in the business world. A free market would allow individuals within the business world to “preserve the right to private property insofar as each individual is free to decide what will be done with what he or she owns without interference from government” (Velasquez, 129). There are many good instances in which we see how the government has done more harm by their involvement. Abbot Laboratories is a great example as it created a sort of butterfly effect. The government intervention concerning the patent laws for pharmaceuticals caused Abbott’s incentive to produce new product disappear. This situation was partially responsible for Abbott’s lack of motivation to produce new drugs to combat AIDS, therefore they were “potentially lowering the future supply of new AIDS drugs” (Velasquez, 137).
On the other hand, government involvement is something that does deserve consideration in the business world. Almost every theory regarding the free market has seemingly more negative aspects than functional positive ones. A free market world opens opportunity in a number of ways, and not all positive ones. A great example is highlighted with the idea of a so called “baby market”. Ethically, this is not something one would readily support. It is important to consider that the opportunity for illegal drugs and services would fall into play without government stepping in. If we are to look at the Darwin theory that was applied in the text, it can quickly be shot down in that it really cannot be applied in the world of business, and if we were to look at this situation ethically it promotes the destruction of weaker businesses. The text states that “Advancement in the business world might be achieved through a ruthless disregard for other human beings” (Velasquez, 142). It is hard to fully support or deny either of these concepts. Each case supports major pros, and major cons. 
Velasquez, Manuel G. Business Ethics Concepts & Cases. New York Pearson, 2018.
3. 
Respond to two students.
Question: 
Velasquez (2018) states, ” Debates have also swirled around the proper balance between property systems that emphasize Lockean notions of private ownership and those that emphasize socialist notions of collective ownership. Nowhere has this debate been more contentious than in regard to the new forms of intellectual property that modern technologies – such as genetic engineering and information technologies – have created.” (p 153).
Velasquez (2018) provides us a working definition “Intellectual property is property that consists of a nonphysical object, such as a software program, a song, an idea, an invention, a recipe, a digital image or sound, a genetic code, or any form of information.” (p 153).
Discuss the current or evolving ethical issues business and government are confronting with intellectual property. Offer an example to support your discussion.
Please respond to two students. Respond to the two students separately
Student 1: 
One major issue companies and government are having over intellectual property has to do with a consumers intellectual property rights in the age of social media. We have all seen memes spread like wildfire in the age of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and being a branded social media influencer is now up there with being an A list celebrity, so how do companies handle intellectual properties content creators produce on their platforms? And who has the rights to the data that is produced from using social media? Is that data that Facebook sells to advertisers considered your intellectual property? 
This happens to be the topic I chose to do my paper on this semester, so reading up on intellectual property in the textbook this week helped me formulate some new thoughts around the situation. I do believe that we should all have some control over out data that is produced from participating in social media. We should have the rights to opt out or be compensated in some way to make sure our data is safe and secure and doesn’t become compromised like what happened during the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2016. I think it will be interesting going forward over the next 10 years or so to see how laws change around the ever growing presence of social media and weather or not the government decided to step in on this issue. It could be argued that government interference might lead down a path not needed or wanted, but I do think that the intellectual property of consumers needs to be protected, if not protected than it should be more transparent. 
Student 2: The current ethical issues surrounding  intellectual property have a lot to do with intellectual property being stored in a digital format.  Intellectual property could be songs, ideas, computer programs or information.  If any of these are saved in a digital format and someone gains access to them, they can be copied and easily widely distributed as the original.  One of the most famous intellectual property cases was Napster, who created software to access music for free, without users having to pay for the copyrighted artist content.  
4.
Respond to two students.
Question:  This week we are going to discuss about the liquidity during a weak economy.
a) Explain why it is important to have sufficient liquidity during a weak economy?
b) What is a disadvantage of maintaining a very high level of liquidity? 
https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/12469/concepts/liquidity-explained/
Please respond to two students. Respond to the two students separately
Student 1:  
a) It is important to have sufficient liquidity during a weak economy because many investments perform poorly during this time. Having liquidity is important because it helps people deal with unexpected short-term crises. It is the ability to convert an asset into cash easily and without losing money against the market price. So when the economy is weak it is important to have sufficient liquidity because if you need to sell investments you would have to sell that liquidity for a loss. 
b) The disadvantage of maintaining a very high level of liquidity can be costly because liquid assets tend to offer relatively low returns. For a business having a high level of liquidity may indicate that the business is spending too much time on research and development. If there aren’t new revenue streams and your previous product life cycle is going away the business will likely lose market share. 
Student 2:  
It’s important to have sufficient liquidity during a weak economy because the likelihood of job cuts and less hours is much higher. You may also see a decrease in returns on your investments. It’s for this reason that it’s important to have liquid assets that way you’re covered if you need quickly accessible funds. These include, but aren’t limited to, cash, checking accounts, savings accounts, NOW accounts, money market funds, and MMDAs. 
On the other hand, maintaining a high level of liquidity doesn’t allow for adequate returns. Illiquid assets, assets that are hard to buy and sell, have higher expected returns due to the level of risk they come with. When you put your money in a time deposit account, interest rates are higher and you end up accruing more money. 
Last march it become more important than ever to have sufficient liquidity as the economy quickly went downhill. For those of you who invest your money, did you take any steps to assure you’d have an adequate amount of funds once the country shut down? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?

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