Thinking Activity Set #3

1. Much of the discussion in this chapter focused on the relationship
between large corporations—especially the energy sector and America’s
government officials. Using the Internet, research the backgrounds
of your state’s U.S. congressional leaders. What occupation
or firm were they employed in prior to entering public service?
2. In his analysis of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair, Author Gary
Potter comments:
―The greatest contradiction in this scandal may be that it served as
a gigantic distraction from actually doing some thing to help the
80 percent of the population who do not own the nation’s wealth
. . . [or] give great amounts of money to political campaigns, and
whose welfare is greatly threatened by political inaction‖
(Potter, 2002, pp. 145-146)
Based on what you’ve read in this chapter, and through conducting
additional research via the World Wide Web, how would you rate the
severity of ―Monicagate‖ compared with other incidents in U.S. history
such as the Teapot Dome Scandal?
3. Scholar Susan Shapiro has identified seven characteristics of abuse of-
trust offenders including ―lying, misrepresentation, stealing, misappropriation,
self-dealing, corruption, and role conflict‖ (Schlegel and Weisburd, 1994, p. 45).
After reviewing this chapter’s selected readings on corruption in Congress and war
and disaster profiteering, which of Shapiro’s seven characteristics might apply to
the individuals discussed in each of these case studies?
4. Have you, or any one you know, ever been turned down for a job or promotion
only to learn later that the person selected had a special connection to the selecting
official? What were the circumstances surrounding this event? In contrast, have
you ever used a personal relationship to obtain a job or promotion? If so, do you feel this was appropriate? Why or why not?
5. Are there any circumstances in which you feel it is appropriate to use government equipment for personal use (e.g., surfing the Internet, burning CDs, photocopying homework assignments)? What is your position on bringing pens, highlighters, Post-it notes and other office supplies purchased by your employer to school for class-work?
 
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