Every writer I’ve ever read on ethics in adversarial settings takes explicit note of the obvious: that is it neither possible, nor desirable, in a deliberately adversarial institution to regulate away all unethical behavior.
As Arthur Applbaum puts it in the book that shares the name of this blog, if “the best of regulatory worlds is understood as a set of rules and levels of detection and enforcement that best balances the gains of eliminating the costs and harms and liberty restrictions of the regulations themselves, then the best set of regulations will legally permit a great deal of adversary action that is economically inefficient, harmful, and liberty-restricting.” (p. 196)
So we cannot expect that “the invisible hand of competition, even in a well-regulated market, will channel all adversary action to good ends.”
In this inevitable gap between what’s legal and what’s ethical we can pack a significant percentage of the best comics about business. Like this one from a couple of days ago.
(This comic is reposted without permission and will be removed upon request.)