Monday, December 05, 2005

Who do you trust?

Gallup's annual Ethics Poll is out and there are no real surprises here. The annual poll asks Americans to rate, on a scale of one to five, the honesty and ethical standards of those in 21 professions. Here are this year's results. The number after the profession indicates the percentage of people polled who rate it high or very high in maintaining ethical standards.
Nurses 82
Druggists/Pharmacists 67
Medical doctors 65
High school teachers 64
Policemen 61
Clergy 54
Funeral directors 44
Bankers 41
Accountants 39
Journalists 28
Real estate agents 20
Building contractors 20
Lawyers 18
Labor union leaders 16
Senators 16
Business executives 16
Stockbrokers 16
Congressmen 14
Advertising practitioners 11
Car salesmen 8
Telemarketers 7
I am curious as to why Lawyers, Labor Union Leaders, Business Executives and Stockbrokers rate higher or as high as the Senators and Congressmen to whom they pay bribes. You would think that the bribe takers would rate several percentage points below those who actually pay the bribes.

Do you think that the Journalists, Real estate agents, Building contractors, Lawyers, Labor union leaders, Senators, Business executives, Stockbrokers, Congressmen, Advertising practitioners, Car salesmen and Telemarketers really give a damn how low they rate? I don't. Do you think the Clergy give a damn, er, darn - sorry - about how low they rank? I do and I think they'll do as much as possible to repair their damaged ethical reputations just as fast as they can.

A special note of congratulations to police officers everywhere (except New Orleans) for their well deserved high ranking (in spite of New Orleans). It is tough to try to teach my kids that, when in Mexico, a police officer is the last person you call for help, but in the United States a police officer is the first one you look to.


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