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Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Well folks, Mr Bush gave The Speech today. The difference between Mr Bush and the Democrats is this:
Mr Bush speaks of ethics and integrity, Mr Daschle et al. speak of more laws.
The difference is striking, and profound.
Here's the heart of the speech, and a glimpse into the heart of the President.

Tougher laws and stricter requirements will help. It will help. Yet, ultimately, the ethics of American business depend on the conscience of America's business leaders. We need men and women of character who know the difference between ambition and destructive greed, between justified risks and irresponsibility, between enterprise and fraud.

Our schools of business must be principled teachers of right and wrong and not surrender to moral confusion and relativism.

Our leaders of business must set high and clear expectations of conduct, demonstrated by their own conduct. Responsible business leaders do not jump ship during hard times. Responsible leaders do not collect huge bonus packages when the value of their company dramatically declines. Responsible leaders do not take home tens of millions of dollars in compensation as their companies prepared to file for bankruptcy, devastating the holdings of their investors.

Everyone in a company should live up to high standards, but the burden of leadership rightly belongs to the chief executive officer. CEOs set the ethical direction for their companies. They set a moral tone by the decisions they make, the respect they show their employees and their willingness to be held accountable for their actions. They set a moral tone by showing their disapproval of other executives who bring discredit to the business world.

It starts at the top. "It" can be either the corruption, or the ethics that have made American Capitalism function.

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