November 13, 2017

What Would You Do?

Regular readers know I'm a fan of ethics -  particularly when it comes to politicians. But 'ethics' is not a political thing - it's a human thing.

Some things are pretty black and white to me, but may not to everyone else. Or, to others, but not at all to me. There's a whole lot of gray out there, and that's where it gets interesting.

I'm also a fan of how people make decisions - all kinds of decisions, not just on ethical questions.  And that's what I hope we can get into, in a non-judgmental way, with this new WWYD series.

Here's how our friends at Merriam-Webster talk about ethics:


The discipline...  Moral duty and obligation...  A theory or system of moral values...  A guiding philosophy...

Similar to the philosophy behind the WWJD bracelets, the point of the WWYD posts is to think and maybe talk about how we make decisions on questions or situations that might have an ethical connotation. Maybe we'll talk about something ripped from the headlines; maybe it's something that popped into mind from a recent post here, or maybe, like today's question, it's a situation I faced myself.. 

I was looking for a contractor to do some work for a family member. In seeking bids for the work, we reached out to a few contractors I was familiar with, as well to one or two recommended by friends who had similar work done at their homes.  

We received bids from a few of them, including a gentleman who offered us two prices: one if the work was done on the books, and one that was substantially lower if the work was done off the books.

His on-the-books bid was roughly comparable to the other bids we received from contractors who included the tax in their price.

What would you do?
  1.  Hire this contractor at the off-the-books price.
  2.  Hire this contractor at the on-the-books price.
  3.  Hire one of the other contractors.
Did you see or think about an ethical question here? Have you faced a similar situation? How did you decide what to do?