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Gray Matters Which Party Is Looking out for Your Company’s Interests

In today’s complicated world, ethical decisions aren’t always black or white; options often fall into gray areas. Readers responded to this situation posed by Personnel Journal.

December 1, 1996
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The Dilemma:
You’ve always believed it’s important to vote with professional issues in mind. But this year’s U.S. presidential election forced you to choose between your employee-involvement committees and the education of your future workforce. Bob Dole in the White House may have put the TEAM Act on safer ground. But a reelected President Clinton is more likely to ensure education programs—like the School-to-Work Act—will remain intact. In the end, all issues in mind, which candidate did you feel would most benefit your organization?

Readers Respond:
Educating tomorrow’s workforce is paramount to maintaining quality and productivity for the workforce of the future. I don’t feel that Bob Dole is against education but rather that he believes federal government programs shouldn’t pay for it. President Clinton has ideas that let government provide payment or credits to cover the first two years of college! If businesses would get involved with the delivery of education in their respective communities, the businesses would have a better understanding of their own needs and be better informed to plan for the upcoming workplace needs.
Carl N. Colaizzi
Human Resource Director
Computer Performance
Associates Inc.
Pompano Beach, Florida

In the manufacturing world, the clear choice is Bob Dole. The liberal Clinton campaign is funded by the labor organizations. This spells trouble for all manufacturers. The labor organizations today are running companies out of business. They’re forcing their agendas on the businessmen and businesswomen of this country. When this happens, running the business is taken out of the hands of the owners and put into the hands of the workers. The more it costs to run a business, the less business can be conducted. This, in turn, causes employee cutbacks and layoffs. You can’t educate what you don’t have.
Kelvin W. Ham
Director, Human Resources
Seibels-Bruce Insurance Company
Columbia, South Carolina

Democrats have a long history of workplace education and training program support. Republicans have an even longer history of not supporting either education or job training. From an organizational standpoint, try to avoid sending a mixed message to the workforce or employee group. Look strictly at voting records starting at the local, state, then federal levels of government, and make an educated choice.

One problem with politics in the workplace is that it’s very hard to look only at the issues and the records. Also political choices sometimes are strong-armed by well-intentioned PACs or local service groups. The problems become a "group think" thing and maintaining focus on the end result is hard to do. After we avoid group think, we run straight into the perception of regional political bias.

A great source to help you understand all this is Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s book concerning economics, "The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism." His explanation of symbolic analytic workers displays the Democrat’s position on workplace training very well. Also, Vice President Gore has some thoughts on this subject. I think both President Clinton and Mr. Dole have good thoughts on the subject—however education workplace matters normally get passed on to White House staff or VPs. In this case, President Clinton’s staff and VP have more history and the better track record in addressing this issue and education in general. President Clinton appears to value educational matters more than Mr. Dole.
Thomas W. Hirons, Ph.D.
Industrial Sociologist
Atwork Consortium & Private Practice
Mansfield, Ohio

We can control how we interact with schools, and we can fund our own school-to-work programs. We can’t control working with our own employees jointly as partners without government approval ¼ pretty ironic, eh? So, there’s really no choice to be made here. Vote for the candidate who can deliver what he or she can deliver. Render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar’s, and those things which are God’s to God.
Joe Lakes
HR Director
RR Donnelley and Sons Co.
Willard, Ohio

I vote for candidates that will benefit me and the ideals and policies I believe in. I don’t vote for candidates that are good for my company. Voting is an individual’s right and responsibility. Too much corporate involvement through PACs, contributions to parties and campaigns, lobbying, etc. is one of the major problems in today’s politics.
David Seehaver
President & Owner
D.L.S. Enterprises
Fort Myers, Florida

Personnel Journal, December 1996, Vol. 75, No. 12, pp. 89-90.

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