Moral Decisions – Some Examples (Part 4)

The financial crisis of 2008 was driven by a similar moral philosophy to that of Obamacare, but with a few differences.

First, there was no big lie regarding this crisis – there was no new federal program to enact.   But what did happen at the White House was a disregard for the lending policies that had been in place for decades.  These policies involved the down payment for a home, income verification, and the standard mortgage amount based on the down payment.  Mortgage brokers and banks were free to offer a mortgage to just about anyone.

The reason given for this behavior was based on consequentialism.  Since it was considered in the public’s best interest to have everyone be able to purchase their own home, the sky was the limit and no policy was going to stand in the way.  The “ends” of homeownership for everyone justified the “means” of not enforcing the lending policies.

Just about everyone in Congress went along with this philosophy – after all, home prices had always gone up as protection to the banks providing the mortgages.  Those in Congress that were deontologists were simply doing their duty by not blocking any legislation that might hinder Americans from the American dream of homeownership.  Their duty was to support those White House policies that were publicized as good for all Americans.  It was not their duty to examine the potential consequences of these policies.

More to come.

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