Ethics of Accounting Essay

670 Words Sep 19th, 2015 3 Pages
Matt Steelman

Journal Reflection Paper #1

Out of all the readings I’ve read thus far in Accounting Ethics, the one that struck me the most was the piece on the Cheating Culture, titled ‘Whatever It Takes’. It paints a picture of how the wealth gap has increasingly divided the classes in America. The excerpt was inspired partly by an English scholar named James Bryce, who traveled to America in the late 1800’s, and it paints the picture of an America that is vastly different than the America of today. Essentially, the authors premise is that the American laissez-faire capitalist system along with a “winner take all” mentality produces a culture where Americans are trying to ‘cheat’ – or take advantage of – each other for financial
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However, if mom-and-pop stores were to generate the same amount of revenue as Amazon, it would employ a lot more Americans compared to Amazon due to the inefficiencies presented in those types of business models. laissez-faire economic system – augmented by legislature passed during the Regan administration – that allowed this behavior to occur and continue to occur to this day.
Another issue with inequality lies in the nature of the American capitalist system. We are a consumer-based economy – we thrive when people buy things. The problem is that the rich aren’t spending enough money and therefore not generating enough economic activity. When 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined, this takes away the amount of disposal income for middle-class and lower-class Americans. The average person only needs a few pairs of shoes, 1 or 2 TV sets, a car, etc. Somebody earning millions dollars a year typically will not spend all of that in a year. Instead, they put that money away and invest in assets - which would only have the potential to benefit other financial well-off individuals who also own assets.
The idea of trickle-down economics was inspired by the Reagan administration and led to a drastic reduction in taxes for the wealthiest of Americans. To this day, Americans such as Mitt Romney pay an average tax rate of 12-15%, while middle and lower class

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