The ethics of each


Author: Merval Pereira

Source: O Globo, 08/08/2009

As Senator José Sarney rightly said in his pathetic defense speech, "ethics is conduct". And precisely in the conduct of certain senators, including him, is the explanation for the fact that it is not possible to level down parliamentary performance. I don't think the main thing is the judgment of this or that senator, but his attitude towards what he did, or what is happening. This is called “ethics”, a concept that varies according to times and customs. Roberto Romano, professor of philosophy at Unicamp, recalls that, if we survey the history of the West, “we find at least five fundamental ethical paradigms that have been mixing over time”


Whenever there is a paradigm that permeates all social and political relations, ethics goes along, comments Romano. But, to speak of ethics, he stresses that it is necessary to speak of a virtue called prudence. "The general law applies to each and every individual, but if you apply the law without any gradation, without any prudent consideration, you do a monstrous job."


It is in this sense that it is necessary to separate the role of Senator Arthur Virgílio, who assumed his mistakes, from those who struggle to preserve privileges and keep the situation as it is. For Roberto Romano, “the doctrine of penalties cannot equally dose the penalty, without considering the situation of time, space, the person”.


From the point of view of ethics, decorum, for the ex-Dominican Roberto Romano, “Senator Arthur Virgílio has venial sins, while he is being massacred by a Renan Calheiros who is full of capital sins”.


The fact is that the custom that prevailed in Congress allowed deviations such as those practiced by Senator Arthur Virgílio and the vast majority of senators, and deputies: use of indemnity money indiscriminately, plane tickets for relatives and friends, appointment of relatives to his office or to offices of friendly congressmen, at the crossroads of favors, and even keeping an employee paid by the Senate in study abroad, without complying with the legal procedures for these situations.


This whole practice became unacceptable by society, and what the congressmen should have done was a mea culpa, as did the toucan and several other deputies and senators in the case of indemnity money and plane tickets, and from there they put hands the work to reform Congress management.


But first it would be necessary for President Sarney himself to admit that his political habits were wrong, displaced in time, and to be willing to reform them, as did the Tucano leader Arthur Virgílio, or the deputy Fernando Gabeira, of the PV. And, above all, to investigate the most serious fact of all, the responsibility for the secret decrees and for the performance of the Senate director-general appointed by him 15 years ago.


On the contrary, Sarney tries to support the unsustainable and even when he did the right thing - return the money from housing assistance - he tries to pass on to the public opinion the idea that he did of his own free will, because he had the right to use it.


In this way, it shows that it is not in a position to command the administrative reform that the Senate needs.


There is a big difference between the two stances, and since we are not in England, where the deputies who abused the compensation money have resigned their mandates, at least we have taken a small step forward with the dismayed attitude of the toucan leader, contrasting with the blackmails used by Renan Calheiros.


Marcílio Marques Moreira, former Minister of Finance and ex-president of the Public Ethics Council, points out that “this 'ethos' (ethics) can change according to society, as it changed in Greece from the heroic ethos of Homer to the ethos of work , a little mirroring also the very conditions of that society ”.


He thinks that throughout the world there has been a move towards stricter rules, citing the recent case of English politicians, who resigned from Parliament for “somewhat similar things, with some analogies of using public resources for private purposes, characterizing the conflict of interest, that most risky aspect of public activity ”.


Marcílio sees a positive side in what is happening in Brasília, it would mean that we are in a transition, “but all transitions are painful”, he points out. While a new hierarchy of values ​​is not consolidated, “there remains a space, a void, which can greatly increase these conflicts. Despite setbacks, I think we are evolving ”.


What worries him is precisely that "some people want to transform the habit of misconduct into the norm, and that is the danger, the resistance to change".


For João Ricardo Moderno, president of the Brazilian Academy of Philosophy and professor of philosophy at Uerj, the origin of the crisis lies in the move from the capital to Brasília, and has a philosophical basis, which is the interpretation given to Augusto Comte's positivism: power you cannot stay close to the population, you have to stay away to think of the best solutions to national problems.


For Moderno, “the federal capital has to coincide with the cultural capital, which requalifies power”. For him, what is happening is that “Brazilian neo-patrimonialism created a state capital, with all the perks and benefits, a local culture was created that it is a sacrifice to go to Brasília and that you have to have advantages to be there, make up for the sacrifice ”.


This policy provoked "a multiplication of benefits, which created a culture of legal benefit and a parallel, of illegal benefit, which are confused".


The private invading the public was encouraged by measures such as the double salary, the functional apartment, eventually creating “an extremely special category, that of public servants.


Brasília is the capital that has the highest purchasing power in the country and does not produce anything ”, he says. (Continues tomorrow)




The ethics of each


Source: Revista Cenário Musical

Emerson CapazEmerson Kapaz explains how small day-to-day actions affect the entire economy of the country

If there is a word that can define Emerson Kapaz, it is, most likely, engagement. Civil engineer graduated from Mackenzie, with a postgraduate degree in Business Administration from FGV, did you start your career in your family's company? Elka Plásticos, in the early 1980s. Soon he became involved with class entities, becoming president of the then Union of Musical Instruments and Toys Industries of the State of São Paulo. With that, he started to participate in the discussions within the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp).

From that time his fight for greater representation within Fiesp for small and medium-sized companies emerged. Which culminated in the foundation of the National Thought of the Business Bases (PNBE). Then he turned to politics. ? In 1994, I helped part of the business area of ​​Mário Covas´ campaign for governor ?, he says. Once elected, Covas invited him to assume the portfolio of Science, Technology and Economic Development.
Elected federal deputy, in 1998, he actively participated in the approval of the new Corporation Law and in bills to encourage micro and small companies, to increase export credit and to make the balance sheet of companies more transparent. ? After that I returned to the private sector ?, he explains. ? But they soon called me on account of the creation of Etco, to be president. Here I am, loving what I'm doing ?.
Etco, of which Kapaz speaks, is the Brazilian Institute of Competition Ethics. It is a non-profit organization that brings together business and non-governmental entities with the objective of delimiting ethical parameters for competition and encouraging effective actions against tax evasion, product counterfeiting and smuggling.

? Being here is really a turn for me. It's like making a whole circuit, but moving forward. Like a spring that goes up. Do you think you are in the same place, but you are three steps up ?, he says enthusiastically.
With sympathy, simplicity and an idealism that stands out, Kapaz received the Cenário Musical team for a conversation about business, public policies and ethics.
At times, your idealism may even sound too utopian. But in his words it is possible to identify the need for people determined to fight for some ideals. For, as Kapaz himself says, "no society can evolve without ethics".

Musical Scenario: Is it possible to be ethical in the environment of wild capitalism?
Emerson Kapaz: It is much more difficult, but it is possible. Basically, today, if you work within a concept of values ​​and ethics, and with a moral that you have formed throughout your life, you will face a very big dilemma. This is because you will eventually lose some sales or competitions, you will stop selling to some customers who just want to know about price, do not want to know about quality. But the reward is being on the right path, however much it may cost.

CM: Some say that it is practically impossible to do that ...
EK: For these I give the example of my family business, in the market for 50 years. During that time, the company never discounted a duplicate in a bank, never depended on a financial loan, never failed to pay a tax, no merchandise left without a note and never leaves. We make money, we are growing, we are doing well. Today we are more consolidated than other companies in the sector that have had ups and downs, and have done dirty things, trickery. So, in the medium and long term, you feel it's worth it. And it is mainly worth it at the moment when the whole of Brazil is looking and asking where the values ​​are. What is the scale of values ​​we have today as a reference?

“The cordiality, flexibility and creativity of the Brazilian are virtues that, if we value them, will be a differential for the competition”

CM: Given this situation, how can we tell entrepreneurs and the population as a whole that it is worth being ethical in the medium and long term?
EK: First of all, one can put it this way: what are we missing by not being ethical? This is the first assessment to be made. People imagine that when they do wrong things or take advantage of everything, they get along well. They learn to go over everything. It must be shown that this is taking Brazil on very bad paths and that is why the country has not been able to grow more than 2 or 3% per year for a long time. We did a study that showed that the growth of informality in Brazil has brought down Brazilian productivity in the last 20 years. And productivity is the key to sustainable growth, there is no way for a country to grow without producing.

CM: And the lack of growth has many other implications, doesn't it?
EK: Yes, from a social point of view, there is an involvement with jobs directly linked to this illegal market, jobs not registered in the portfolio that cause a breach in Social Security. This causes a deficit in the Government that forces you to maintain high interest rates, and therefore the economy suffers as well, and you personally pay higher interest rates. People think they are taking advantage of small things, but on a larger plane they are taking a huge iron and getting lost completely. Not to mention the issue of violence.

CM: Informality is directly linked to crime ...
EK: Yes, because all of these illegal goods have started to make so much money that it has started to attract organized crime. So, connected to piracy, sale of illegal products, evasion and smuggling are the mafias of Korean, Chinese, Thai, Lebanese and other vendors and mobsters, who have structured themselves to offer these products and who at the same time earn by selling these products, support the chain of drug trafficking, drugs, assault, minors who turn into bandits.

CM: Everything is interconnected.
EK: You are nervous because you are mugged on the street, but you are contributing to it by buying a? CD? pirate. Or do you buy a smuggled product and say:? Oh, everyone does it, they don’t take anything. What will I pay tax for? Does this government provide no service? What is worse is that from the public point of view, as a whole, this contributes to a notion that things in Brazil do not need to be done correctly. That society needs to build things "half-assed". We are a half-hearted society, everything is more or less, nothing has to be done correctly. So it doesn't work, there is no society in the world that managed to build a decent country without ethics. There is no example of a country that puts ethics in the 5th plane, that does not have a scale of values ​​and it worked out ahead. Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Spain experienced the same problem as Brazil, with an illegal market. But they fought this evil and the country took it to another level.

CM: Thinking like that, is Brazil going through just one stage? Will it evolve?
EK: It is a step that has been deepened. Four major factors have made this situation worse in Brazil in the last ten years: extremely high tax burden, asphyxiating bureaucracy, slow justice and impunity. These four factors were dramatic for Brazil to go from an informality of 20% to double. Today, more than 40% of the Brazilian economy is informal.

CM: But what do these numbers include? Only the street vendors?
EK: Everything. When I speak of informality, it goes from the micro and small unregistered company, through illegal companies that buy illegal goods and sell them, plus the stalls and the non-registration of employees.

CM: But to solve this, in your opinion, is there no organization or awareness? Or both?
EK: It is a sum of factors. Basically, the Brazilian business class is poorly structured to represent itself and assert its will. Why? Because it has a representation of industry, another of commerce, and of the bank, of agriculture and does not have a complete business representation. In all other countries you have this segmentation, but there is the União dos Empresários, which defends everyone.

CM: Because there are common interests for everyone.
EK: Yes, exactly. Here it is segmenting and when it comes to discussing tax reform, for example, the industry is against trade. And the financial system is also against industry and commerce. Congress fails to have a consistency of proposals and navigates through this mess of corporate representation. In addition, 80% to 90% of companies are micro, small and medium-sized, but business representation is basically made up of large companies. There is no formal representation of small and medium. This is because the election of our business leaders is indirect. The President of the CNI (National Confederation of Industry) is indirectly elected by the Presidents of the State Employers' Unions, who are indirectly elected by the Unions of the categories. I vote directly for President of Brazil and I do not vote directly to represent me at FIESP. This is barbaric. And it is these leaders who sit at the discussion tables, they are the ones who negotiate interests. But always very small, they have no idea of ​​what business representation is.

CM: Meanwhile, workers are even more lost.
EK: Society has not yet realized that our biggest crisis is not political, it is not economic. It is a crisis of values. The law that counts is q Gérson's Law, it is the spirit of the Brazilian way deformed in trickery, slutty and passing others behind. These are laws that are not passed in Congress, but that are valid in society as a whole. A distortion is created in which, when doing business with someone, he already asks what is the way to pay less. If you ask for an invoice at a sale - whatever? people are even nervous about you. It is a notion of tax citizenship that does not exist and we have lost the ability to understand the State as a reflection of society. The State and Lula are far away and I am here.

CM: It is that notion that the State comes, quite simply.
EK: The worst thing is that people think that the public budget belongs to someone, but it is not theirs. When you steal, you are stealing money that you don't know and don't feel is your money, taken out of your pocket. And the comparison is simple: you have an employee who works at your home and is competent, everything in order, wonderful. But every day she takes R $ 10 out of her wallet. At the end of the month you find out. What would you do? It was what should be done with politicians, because they are taking their money, it comes out of your pocket a little bit every day and they become millionaires. People are now managing to create an awareness of politics, citizenship, anger, indignation at the lack of ethics.

CM: How to increase this awareness?
EK: The work done here at the Institute has shown that it is necessary to have an exemplary attitude, added with extremely harsh punishments for those who are outside the law. A very structured system to punish companies, citizens and people. At the same time, structural changes need to be made. It is necessary to reform labor legislation, simplify procedures.

CM: Do you go beyond education then?
EK: Right. People talk a lot about education and it became a common discourse, everyone knows. Now, if you educate a student very well for ten years and he leaves for a society in which the scale of values ​​is very disturbed, he is lost. Because individual ethics are confronted with the ethics of society. The most difficult process begins with ourselves. The dilemma that we have been able to face here has to involve the consumer. He needs to say: "this cheap and illegal product I don't buy". In this way, it detonates the entire production chain. While some women continue to shop at Daslu, even though they know she overpriced, made a scheme and sells for six thousand reais what she paid 200, the store is making money? If society accepts, it will continue to win. That is why change must begin in each one of us. We are the ones who need to think it's worth it. Your work contaminates others. And society starts to gain a new dimension.

CM: An idea that everyone is responsible?
EK: Everyone. It is a spider web. You can be sure that if you threw a role in the street, thinking that it doesn't make any difference because it is a tiny role, eventually a flood will be caused because everyone does it and one day you will be drowned in the middle of a tunnel.

CM: But these are cultural issues. A lot of people pride themselves on being a "trickster".
EK: The change begins at home, with the children. If I tell my son that lying is ugly, but a person calls me that I don't want to answer and I tell him to say I'm not. I tell my son not to smoke, I say it's bad, but I still smoke. These day-to-day inconsistencies, our slips in things that are small and irrelevant, but build an entire procedure. We need to start imagining that the cordiality, flexibility and creativity of the Brazilian are not things of a bastard, a trickster, a crook. These are virtues that, if properly valued, will be a differential for the competition.

CM: And with companies it works the same way.
EK: I want to break with the thought that "if I don't do this (evade taxes), I won't survive". This is an excuse. There is no company from the Institute that stopped making money by being ethical. I'll take an extreme example here in Brazil, a company like Natura. You will see if Natura does not do the right things environmentally. They have a highly respected value for society, they are an admired company that is earning a lot, is growing and is going outside of Brazil. We are the ones who touch the body and we think we will make more money if we make a half note. When I don't pay taxes, the government settles on taxing telecommunications, electricity, fuel and some other sectors that you pay indirectly at your home, at your small and medium-sized business. Even without realizing it, we are all prorating this, this illegality. For paying taxes, I am a citizen who carries a backpack 30% heavier on his back than another citizen who does not pay taxes and is walking just like me on the street. I am outraged because I am paying for it, I am paying for all those who are not contributing. It makes me even more nervous to make the changes that I want to be made. Entrepreneurs need to stop being accommodated, react to the height, demand a stronger position from their leaders. If you don't get angry, don't react, nothing will happen.

CM: And also to realize that it is good to act in that indignant way.
EK: Making money within the law is too good, it does very well. It gives even more pleasure to know that you paid your income tax, contributed to your tax obligations and earned money. So you sleep peacefully, you don't have to worry if the inspector knocks on your door. You can speak freely:? This government that is there depends on me, it is my employee ?.

CM: And that does not depend on who is in the government ...
EK: Of course! The government passes, but society stays. We elected a government for four years to take the resources that I give for taxes for it to manage over that period. But when people understand that Geraldo Alckmin, Lula, Serra are our employees, the game has changed completely. We think that we should be accountable to an entity up there, which is the government there in Brasilia, when it is he who is accountable to us, who pays their wages are us.

CM: Bringing the discussion to the field of music, piracy is something that bothers a lot. But it is difficult for the consumer to understand the reasons why an official CD costs R $ 30 and the pirate only R $ 5. The difference is very big.
EK: The first discussion is about the cost structure of selling music. This involves copyright, the profit of the record companies, the form of marketing. There are already systems to sell legal CDs for five reais. If that is possible, something is very wrong. Because when the price is much closer (between the pirate and the legal one) you can be sure that you resume selling CDs.

CM: In the music market, many national companies suffer from the flood of imported products. What do you have to say, in ethical terms, to these entrepreneurs?
EK: There are two visions. The first is that the dollar at the level it is at, I don't believe it will stay. He will return to the level of balance, which is not the one that is there today. Looking at it from another perspective, it is time to take advantage and modernize the entire production structure. Because you can also buy machinery and equipment and import raw materials at a very low price. And sell your guitar with a different quality than it would have if you used only national raw materials.

CM: In the music market there is still that view that competitors are enemies. But from our conversation, you don't believe that, do you?
EK: No. And that may be the problem. It is the myopic view of the majority of the Brazilian business community. Because, as long as I see my competitor as an enemy and not as a competitor and, eventually, as an ally for causes that may interest the sector, the sector will not progress.

CM: Still talking about the music market, one of the great battles is for the tax exemption of instruments, since other products? like the books? already have it. What is your opinion on the subject?
EK: Did anyone come to prove or show the importance of the musical instrument in the cultural and educational formation of the citizen? It has something to do with a country's potential to show itself to the world. Even more a country like Brazil, where music is everything. But this kind of thing happens with several sectors. We did a survey that showed that the Brazilian pharmaceutical sector is the most taxed in the world. In Brazil, the drug tax is 26%. Medicine for animals is zero. Medicine for humans is taxed, so it is better to be a dog than to be a person in Brazil. All this why? Business, sectoral disorganization, the same thing you will see in music and other sectors that have failed to show their importance to society. And what does the government do? The law of compensation. Take an organizational sector and don't mess with it. We will tax here, where nobody says anything, that's it.

CM: Is there anything you would like to highlight apart from what we talked about?
EK: I want to leave you with this feeling that there is no society that can evolve without ethics. When we lose our scale of values ​​we pay a price in the long run. The citizen must understand that the most important aspect of this change is the individual attitude, however insignificant it may be, it is what makes the difference.

Article published in the magazine Musical Scenery