QUESTION TEXT: It is unethical for government officials to…
QUESTION TYPE: Principle
PRINCIPLE: Knowledge not publicly available –> Unethical for officials to profit from knowledge
ANALYSIS: On logical reasoning questions, you must be rigorous. You must focus on exactly what condition allows you to prove a principle.
We have one sufficient situation for calling something unethical. Someone must:
- Be a current government official, and
- Use knowledge not publicly available, and
- To benefit themselves
This is very similar to criminal law, where multiple conditions must be met for a crime. You must be rigorous and discard any answers that miss one of the above conditions.
Many answers describe situations where officials might be profiting. No good. We need definite proof that officials profited.
- There’s no evidence the official profited from his former company’s bid. We don’t even know that the bid succeeded. We also don’t know if the official used knowledge that wasn’t public.
- This officer is a retired government official. The principle only applies to current officials.
- It’s not clear the official used knowledge that isn’t available. She set up the shelters after the new law was passed.
- CORRECT. This matches all four conditions. A current official used secret knowledge to benefit himself financially by avoiding a tax.
- The official sold her stock after the investigation was announced, so there is no violation.
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