Ethics in business & politics on New Mexico In Focus

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What could New Mexico politicians learn from MBA students at UNM’s Anderson School of Management? New Mexico in Focus visited a graduate-level business ethics class where some students are working on a project to design a good-government training for elected officials.

Business and politics have much in common, Professor Harry Van Buren told NMIF. For example, in business, CEO pay is often directly correlated to the quality of the work. Paying New Mexico’s state lawmakers a salary–instead of merely a per diem and mileage reimbursement–might bring a higher caliber of candidate to the Capitol.

Participants in both fields have to deal with conflicts of interest, but New Mexico’s politicians don’t do a particularly good job of disclosing them. And money in politics makes it hard for lawmakers to align their interests (in fundraising and getting reelected, for example) with those of their constituents.

Both must make tough calls, Van Buren said, referring to the recent decision of Apple CEO Tim Cook to refuse the federal government’s request to devise a way to break the company’s own encryption software.

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