Writing Assignment #1 – Due11:59 PM



The documentary, Sober Indian | Dangerous Indian, represents an intriguing business ethics case study. Most business law textbooks state that the moral minimum for ethical behavior to follow all existing laws. So what role should business ethics play, for example, when state legislators or regulators are unable or unwilling to address a public health crisis caused by an economic activity? Business law textbooks also generally identify two approaches to ethical decision making: Duty-based and Outcome-based. The duty-based approach focuses on the Golden Rule (i.e. do unto others as you would have them do unto you), whereas the outcome-based approach encourages business leaders to choose the alternative that produces the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people. So what approach should the beer industry take, for example, if it believes the State of Nebraska has unlawfully issued four beer licenses in the unincorporated town of Whiteclay? What approach should the beer industry take, even if those beer licenses were lawfully issued, to address the harms being caused by Whiteclay beer sales? Consider all these economic and non-economic factors when answering the questions below:

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1. Identify the issues that were facing the beer industry in Whiteclay? Be sure to include both the economic (financial) and non-economic (social, public relations, corporate responsibility).

2. If you were the beer industry, describe how you would have approached the issue of Whiteclay beer sales by using both Formalism (Duty-Based) and Consequentialism (Outcome-Based) Approaches.

3. Name three characters or moments in the film that impacted you, and describe why?

According to the Center for Disease Control, “High alcohol outlet density, defined as having a high concentration of retail alcohol outlets in a small area, is an environmental risk factor for excessive drinking. From a 2014 study assessing the effects of various state alcohol policies, researchers found that differences in alcohol outlet density and alcohol taxes accounted for about half of the overall effect that the alcohol policy environment had on binge drinking among adults. In addition, high alcohol outlet density is associated with many social harms among neighborhoods in and around the alcohol outlets, such as disorderly conduct, noise, neighborhood disruption, public nuisance, and property damage. High alcohol outlet density is also linked with many alcohol-attributable effects among neighborhoods further away from alcohol outlets, such as alcohol-impaired driving, pedestrian injuries, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Guide for Measuring Alcohol Outlet Density,” 2017, Citations Omitted. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/pdfs/CDC-Guide-for-Measuring-Alcohol-Outlet-Density.pdf.

4. Do you believe alcohol outlet density is a legitimate factor that government should take into consideration when issuing or renewing retail licenses? If not, what steps could corporations take to address the adverse impact created by high alcohol outlet density? If not, is it reasonable for government resources (law enforcement, incarceration, medical expenses) to be expended to address the harms created by these high alcohol outlet density areas?

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