Sunday, February 08, 2009


Most readers would not tell their local Starbucks clerk that they had voted, if they hadn't, simply to get a free cup of coffee. Still, 15 percent of the readers responding to an unscientific poll on my column's blog said that they would take the free cup of joe if they planned to vote later in the day.

"I was faced with specifically this quandary on Election Day," writes William Jacobson of Cypress, Calif. "While I did consider jumping for the free cup of coffee pre-voting, I did relent and do the ethical thing by holding off. I had my fiancee's free cup instead."

"I would turn down the offer," writes Phil Clutts of Harrisburg, N.C,, "and say that it's my responsibility (and everybody else's) to vote, so thanks anyway, but I'll pass up your offer."

"Anything to encourage people to get out and vote is a good thing," writes Megan Chromik of Cambridge, Mass.

Check out other opinions here, or post your own by clicking on "Comments" or "Post a comment" below.

Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business and The Good, the Bad, and Your Business: Choosing Right When Ethical Dilemmas Pull You Apart, is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.

c.2009 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

No comments:

Can I skim some books from my friend's donation?

A reader we're calling Josh, owns a pickup truck. Josh seems a good enough fellow, indicating that in addition to using his truck as...