Friday, August 31, 2012


To my pleasant surprise all three boys knew what a loophole was - and even gave me examples. We spoke about whether it is OK to take advantage of loopholes or not, and concluded that "it depends". For example, taxpayers in the US search for the (legal) approach that will minimize their taxes. Taking advantage of loopholes is customary and expected (as long as they are perfectly legal loopholes). On the other hand, a loophole that allows you to do something that you know is "wrong" or "unethical" is a bad idea.

I started to talk about loopholes because I might have found one to decrease the price of my digital subscription to the Wall Street Journal. I signed up for the print version, even though I read the paper on my iPad, because the print subscription is cheaper (at least the offer I got is). And the print subscription gives you access to the digital version. I then decided to put my print delivery on hold, as  I don't want it. But I can still access the print version so I might be getting it for free while my print subscription is on hold. Not sure... My motivation (honestly!) was to avoid having to pick up and throw away the paper every day. But I then realized I might have found a loophole for a cheaper digital subscription... So, if this is indeed a loophole, is it OK? The boys thought it was fine. I am not sure... Does it matter that News Corp is one big corporation that should know how to take care of these things? Would it make a difference if it was a small non-profit community newspaper? I think it does. I think "context" matters...

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