Explain why it is or why it is not a morally “big deal” to claim five full days of per diem when the regulations indicate that you should report three full days.

Reflective Essay

1. Regarding the “London Bridge Attack,” draw on what you learned in the “Constraints” reading and answer the following: Why is Darryn Frost morally permitted (i.e., apart from the law) to threaten Usman Khan with a weapon, but Khan is not morally permitted to

a) initially attack other people on the bridge and
b) to threaten Frost once Frost points the narwhal tusk at Khan?

2. Analyze the “Per Diem” reading using what you learned in the “Constraints” reading.

a) Explain why it is or why it is not a morally “big deal” to claim five full days of per diem when the regulations indicate that you should report three full days.

b) Test whether or not you are violating someone’s rights by reporting five full days. According to government regulations, you are technically misreporting your expenses by reporting five full days. Apply the “universalization” test: If every government employee planned to misreport his or her travel expenses, and everyone knew that everyone planned to misreport, would everyone still get paid the “extra” money she or he wants? In other words, would this plan work if everyone was up front about planning to claim more money than the regulations say he or she deserves?

c) Apply the “mere means” test. The comptroller for your cost center, Sandra Diaz, reviews all expense reports and issues payments. Are you using her as a mere means—a tool, a thing—to get what you want if you report five full days instead of three? Explain. Are you giving her a chance to agree to pay you for either three or five full days by giving her all the information about your travel schedule and letting her make a decision about what you deserve? Mrs. Diaz issues payments that come from Americans’ taxes. Are you using the U.S. taxpayers as a mere means to accomplish some goal if you report five full days on your report?

d) So, considering constraints alone (we will look at the other elements in the MDR later), does falsifying the expense report appear to be morally permissible (you may do it), mandatory (you must do it), or prohibited (you must not do it)?

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