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by seraphblade on 2005-10-01 20:23:16
Private companies and employees (Enron, Worldcom, Arthur Andersen, Martha Stewart) may also become corrupt. However, if these people are only in violation of the public good, but are serving their shareholders by making a profit, the public has no recourse to vote them out. (The "don't buy their stuff" argument often falls flat here-many corporations are the sole provider in an area of a necessity, or largely serve other corporations rather then an end user.) On the other hand, if corruption or ethically questionable behavior is found in public officials, we can demand those officials' removal, and back such demands up with our ability to vote. For example, since Tom DeLay has been indicted (not even convicted) of questionable ethical practices, he has been forced to step down from leadership of the House. On the other hand, Martha Stewart was convicted of blatantly illegal behavior, but is still every bit permitted to run her business!

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