Corruption Ethics in Business Since End of Cold War Term Paper

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Corruption/Ethics in Business Since the End of the Cold War

The Cold War in essence refers to the fierce and open rivalry that started to develop between the United States of America and her various allies, and the Soviet Union and all her allies, after the conclusion of the Second World War. Why this rivalry was called the Cold War was because of the fact that it did not involve any direct fighting between the powers, in the traditional large scale manner; instead, it involved a War in which there was subtle economic pressure, diplomatic maneuvers, and at times assassinations, and also certain types of military operations, from the year 1947, till the collapse of the erstwhile Soviet Union in the year 1991. (Cold War: Wikipedia)

Today, it is being widely recognized that one would have to exit from the existing imperialistic structuring, if one were to hope to have a certain minimum of global sustainability, and if this were to be maintained, then the various trends that lead to the phenomenon of income diffusion must be encouraged, while at the same time all the current trends that lead towards the persistent global income concentration would have to be curbed. Today, one is also being forced to refrain and back away form those practices that encourage cumulative under consumption collapse mode conditions, and there are, in addition, numerous global problems that need global public policy responses, and this means that national policies must be coordinated towards maintaining longer run sustainability. (Imperialism after the Cold War)

Economic imperialism is another constant threat, and in fact, may even lead to another Cold War in the near future, if steps are not taken to redeem the situation and change things as soon as possible. The process of globalization has led to the following structural conditions within the economy, and these are: it has led to the increase in the economics of scale, because of its absorption by industry, and this in turn has led to the development of an oligopolistic barrier against competition of various kinds. It has also led to a cooperation and a combination of several large Corporate Powers, and it is indeed a fact that no national policy system would be able to cope with attempts to match these powers, even to a certain extent. Even though the end of the Cold war provided a great many opportunities for the powers of the world to exit form imperialism, the sad fact is that this has not actually happened, and today, one is increasingly facing the ethnocentric idea of Western powers that impose their own Western values and culture on the world, in a global socio economic structure. (Imperialism after the Cold War)

Several different studies form all over the world do indicate that the process of reconstruction for those countries that are emerging from a War or any other such trauma would inevitably be prone to corruption in many ways, and one example can be seen in Iraq, where large scale bribery and frauds and kickbacks and overcharging are all a part of the entire restructuring process. 'Corruption' here means any form of entrusted office for the purpose of personal gains, and this was rampant in the time before the Cold War. (Introductory Survey, Corruption and Reconstruction after War.)

The end of the Cold War led to a period wherein there was widespread uncertainty and fear and also fast changes, and the result was turmoil and confusion, but the Cold War did indeed provide a known enemy against which campaigns and policies could be launched; in fact, the Cold War is stated to have provided the much needed stability and structure that all the countries involved needed desperately, and today, even though there has been a shift in power, wherein the United States of America stands as the Super Power of the world, and all the others at a position lesser than that of the U.S.A., there is increasing globalization and a unity that has never been observed before. However, at the same time, there is a shift of threat from known enemies during the Cold War to unknown enemies, and also unknown types of conflict, and what this means is that there are new groups developing everyday, and some of these are the terrorist groups, and organized International Crime Networks, which are even more dangerous than they were before, what with the advances in technology today. The political map of the world is also changing, and in places where democracy is replacing capitalism, there is no assurance that democracy will in fact last. (The Landscape: Chaos in the Littorals)

President Bush of the United States of America has today come up with an ambitious initiative that will create a U.S. And a Middle East 'free trade area', wherein that country would gain barrier-free access to the market of the United States, so that its exports may be promoted. One example of the success of this type of Free Trade Agreement is demonstrated by the agreement entered into by Jordan with the U.S.A. In 2001, wherein Jordan's exports increased manifold. Figures show that exports actually increased from $73 million in the year 2000, to $412 million in the year 2002, after the Free Trade agreement was signed. This is seen by many as the mere recycling of the Cold War Era Policy that was followed by the United States of America when dealing with the several other countries during the Cold War, during which time the U.S.A. felt that it was better to hold economic prosperity as a barrier against the existing communism. (Bush tries to recycle Cold War Era Policy)

The so-called '4H Cross Cultural International Exchange Programs' that herald international peace and goodwill have also done their mite towards the decrease in corruption world wide after the Cold War, and although the program had been initiated many years ago, in fact, soon after the Second World War. This program in fact calls for a need for a non-governmental agency to handle the funds form other businesses for the purpose of distribution, and large Corporations and businesses such as the Ford Corporation, the International Harvester, and the Sears Roebuck were all involved in this group. After the Cold War, people all over the world are in fact being exposed, everyday, to different races and cultures and traditions from all over the world, and with the increase in the communication technology, as well as in globalization, large global corporations and agencies and international businesses are in touch with each other, everyday, and at all times of the day as well. (4H International Exchanges: New Directions after the Cold War.)

When the then President Jimmy Carter passed the 'Foreign Corrupt Practices Act' in the year 1977, it was assumed that this Act would be sufficient to handle the large scale fight against corruption in the Post War Era. This was because of the fact that bribery and other corrupt practices committed by U.S. citizens while conducting business overseas were severely curtailed by this Act, and this act was a landmark in legislation at that time, because no other country had so far passed such an Act. In addition, the period that followed the passing of the FCPA was one of the best as far as exponential growth in trade was concerned, even though quite a few business leaders in America were in fact claiming that it was affecting their business in numerous ways. However, the FCPA was not entirely successful in curtailing corruption, and this managed to increase everywhere, and American Corporation have argued that they were at a disadvantage when they wanted to export goods to foreign countries. (The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and its implications for the Control of Corruption in Political Life)

Before the FCPA was enacted, there were only a few statutes that were to deal with corruption, and some of these were the Securities Act of 1934, the Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud Acts, the IRS, the False Statement Acts, and so on, and despite all these acts, corruption was indeed widely accepted especially in cases where an American investor had to conduct his business in a foreign country. (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) After the passing of the landmark FCPA, it has been noticed worldwide that corruption has decreased dramatically, but there are fears, at the same time, that such reductions in corruption according to global and International standards of business are but small ripples in the face of the vast arena of corruption all over the world.

In fact, a large number of cases that involved U.S. companies and their questionable moral standards have been reported of late, like for example, in the case of Xerox, India, and Enron. Some individuals believe that the weak enforcement of the laws of the FCPA may be the cause of the spread of this corruption, and when the laws are more stringently enforced, there would be a lot of difference to the entire scenario. Since the responsibility…[continue]

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