Today we hear a great deal about accountability and responsibility but little is done about it.
W. Nordhaus suggests in Time (April 26) that maybe we should focus more on irresponsibility. What are the most irresponsible acts? Nordhaus points out that when Dante wrote “Inferno,” he described the “ninth circle of Hell” as the deepest one, where treachery resides and where hosts betray their guests. In other words, the very worst type of corporate or individual irresponsibility would be actions in which they invite their customers to use their products even though they know their product is dangerous or harmful and will eventually lead to death or destruction (e.g. Volkswagen and their diesel engine coverup; firearms manufacturers and mass shootings; Philip Morris destroyed research regarding legal effects of tobacco; Purdue Pharma fostered use of oxycodone while aware of addiction problems; Wells Fargo created fake bank accounts; alcohol producers promote happy hours and party times even though well aware of the fact that alcohol is the number one health problem in our society contributing to addiction, property damage and death).
This type of irresponsible ninth circle behavior should not be forgiven or forgotten. Why do we re elect lawmakers who extend hours and add places where alcohol may be purchased, or who fail to enact reasonable controls on the sale of products which endanger our citizens, or who fail to withdraw charters from corporations who are guilty of irresponsible acts as described in the ninth circle of Hell?
Monroe Pederson, Hatton, N.D.