At this late date, virtually every American knows the most widely broadcast fallout from the Enron scandal- the collapse of a mega-corporation, jail sentences for many of key players in the scandal, and the realization that no company is invincible, especially given the fact that its very caretakers were in fact its killers. Beyond this, however, there are moral consequences for American society overall, knowing now that highly paid executives stole the retirement futures of those who worked so hard to build up the company of Enron.
Because of Enron, we now are faced with the fact that this was not just a business issue, but a human one as well. Of course, financial ruin is horrible, but money can be replaced. What cannot be replaced in many cases are the shattered lives that became that way when Enron fell apart. For example, churches in the Houston, Texas area- the headquarters of Enron- were flooded with the “ordinary people” who worked at Enron, and who were then without jobs and their life savings. For these people, many felt that the only answer to their problems was to end it all with suicide, and with nowhere else to turn, went to the churches for support (The Christian Century, 2002).
On a higher level, American society has to face the fact that when money and power are involved, even those whom we think we can trust cannot totally be trusted. Morally, America has fallen into a dark area where those who can steal from others for some short-term gain will usually do so.
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In closing, the moral consequence for America, in light of Enron, is a further loss of innocence.
Houston Church Deals with Layoffs at Enron. (2002, January 30). The Christian Century, 119, 15.
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