Impact of Federal Government on Business Law and Ethics

When faced with an ethical dilemma, one question that one can ask oneself is: what is the best option in terms of practicability that must be taken? The idea of practicability can be determined or defined at least in terms of the immediate usefulness of the option in the given situation. For example, when one is faced with the situation of choosing between lying in order to secure the welfare of an employee or telling the truth in order to secure the welfare of the company, one should consider the option which has immediate usefulness, or perhaps the most useful option that has with it a larger positive effect.

In this instance, one can choose to tell the truth in order to secure the welfare of the company which translates into securing the welfare of the rest of the employees. In essence, the perceived consequences of the persisting options in an ethical dilemma must be weighed against one another in the context of the situation in order to weigh the most probable direction to take. Otherwise, one might be lost on which option to take as dilemmas are quite complex to analyze.

In several cases, questions concerning the company’s ethical dilemma also have strands of dilemmas affected or influenced partly or largely by the federal government. For example, an international aluminum maker company that conducts business operations among eight countries across the globe handling aluminum business in constructing automotive parts as well as in producing packaging materials based within the United States is compelled to abide by the federal laws that govern not only its operations but also the manner in which it is composed of employees.

Specifically, companies under the aluminum industry are compelled to secure their operations in terms of safety to the employees and, more importantly, to the general public. It must be noted that both the federal and state governments of America, particularly through the EPA and the administration and enforcing of existing regulations, have combined efforts in ensuring environmental safety.

Hence, companies, especially those whose operations primarily involve the environment, are expected to align their business actions with the established federal and state laws. In the same manner, founding and preserving satisfactory relations with the community is also essential as it occupies a crucial role during times of crisis in resolving specific issues. The community’s assistance with the company, or its deficiency, should always be considered in crafting company policies, decisions and actions.

Moreover, transparency with the business operations of the company is also a major concern as citizens can file for a request of the company’s records among government offices as well as the companies themselves under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) given particular stipulations. To a certain degree, it roughly goes against the privacy policies of certain business firms as they are required to maintain the confidentiality of business information as a section of the FOIA that covers vital interests.

It can be thus stated that the operations of any company operating within the territory of the United States of America are expected to blend well with the existing federal laws that secure the welfare of the general public without compromising the operations and welfare of the companies and without totally pulling down the financial performance of the companies. While it is a notable fact that competition in the business sector within America is stiff and innovations are a crucial ingredient in staying afloat the competition in the industry, it is also a notable fact that the federal government has an increasing role over these competitions.

Securing a fair competition among aluminum companies without compromising the health, for instance, of the general public is a must for the legislative agenda of the federal government. Another instance where the federal government poses an impact on businesses in the context of ethical situations is ‘market failure. ’ Market failure is a term in the field of economics that essentially emphasizes the idea of an event wherein the behavior of putting the optimum capabilities of agents in a specified market will not result to a Pareto optimal allotment (Coffee, p. 718).

The term market failure generally refers to situations where the results in the market are not Pareto efficient (or optimal) as well, thus supplying the reason for the government to intervene in the process. Especially in free markets, the idea that markets can break down is one of the most common grounds for government intervention although economists argue that the government can fail as well.