Comment of the Day: “Ethics Hero and Dunce: A Tale of Two Windfalls”

In a classic example of  “Be careful what you wish for,” I had been thinking about how none of the recent comments, excellent though many were, quite struck the “Comment of the Day” gong for me, and then, like the answer granted by a perverse genie, this turns up. A reader named Lawrence Reliford argues that Stephen McDow had every right to spend the money erroneously deposited in his bank account, and in the process evokes—let’s see—six rationalizations, three misconceptions, two bad analogies, one wonderful Malaprop and a partridge in a pear tree.  (I may have miscounted; this can also be an ethics quiz.) On a more depressing note, I am quite certain that a larger portion of the population than any of us would be comfortable admitting agree with Lawrence. You can find my response to his comment with the original post, here...but please feel free to write your own. Lawrence needs all the guidance he can get. Here is The Comment of the Day:

“Get real. This guy shouldn’t be in jail. You have to verify tax forms and certify them with your signature. Why am I responsible for what I sign and she is not? This is not justice. He didn’t steal anything. He didn’t walk past a bag of money on the street. The bag of money was stuffed right into his pocket by the careless old lady. She gave him the money with her signature and he spent it to keep the roof over his families head. People carelessly sign things every day and have to live with those decisions, but because she is much wealthier, she is dissolved of any responsibility, just like the financial crisis in 2008. Just because it’s law, doesn’t make it right. I shouldn’t be able to sign over the title of my car to someone else, hand them the keys, and call the cops once he drives away.”

3 thoughts on “Comment of the Day: “Ethics Hero and Dunce: A Tale of Two Windfalls”

  1. The concept of “dissolving of responsibility” seems like a rather apt metaphor, actually. Not intentionally, of course, but we can’t have everything.

  2. I actually wrote in favor of the couple (scoreboard days) that had a bank error in their favor. But for their situation, they tried to return the money and waited a period of time and were told to buzz off.

    McDow… He just went for it.

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