Cheating culture has infested American society completely. The author took help from various recent happenings and gave very specific examples of cheating in the society with respect to use of steroids that enhance an athlete’s performance, how reporters depict fiction as reality, how many doctors get bribed from pharmaceutical companies and accept heavy gifts from them in return for promoting their drugs irrespective of their reliability and authenticity, how students casually cheat during exams, how music fans burn CDs and upload it on the internet for others to freely download and how major stakeholders in a company conduct thefts and crime in business, he says that cheating is all around us.
According to Callahan, this pervasion of cheating in the society is a result of “profound moral crisis” (Callahan, 2004, p. 17). He says that only are Americans getting more and more indulged in it, but the more dangerous aspect of it is that they have begun to feel less guilty about the crimes that they are committing. This is mainly because of the fact that cheating has become so commonplace in the American society that it has stopped affecting the conscience of people. People are doing it because everyone around them is also doing it and so they don’t feel ashamed in doing some stealthy business.
The main reason that he provided for the prevalence of cheating culture concerns an emphasis in the past 25 years on preservation of a traditional society which is threatened by drugs, sex and music.
However, we have failed to place an equal emphasis on preventing more grave and deep-rooted evils such as bribery, theft, greed and inequality. With the rise in globalization and freedom of Media, people have become more materialistic and an increase in education levels has led to an increase in competition among individuals in general. This has also led to job insecurity and downsizing in many companies. A lot of people feel insecure and pressurized by the material wants of themselves and their families that they forget their integral values while collecting wealth. Another argument that Callahan proposed was that cheating has led to an even greater divide between the rich and the poor. The rich people, in the lust of wealth, try to make connections with the Government regulatory authorities and bribe them to get their matters straightened, for example tax exemption. Their crimes of bribery go unnoticed. While on the other hand, the poor get caught for their insignificant actions which they commit only to cope up with the growing inequality. Also people have found very easy ways of justifying cheating. If everyone’s doing something wrong then it becomes easier to justify why you’re doing it. The book makes the reader believe that cheating indeed is not always a very choice. Life presents each individual to very complex situations where they have to make sacrifices and choose a path that seems easier. Unfortunately, many people in the American society resorts to a path that eventually leads to cheating. Therefore, cheating is not an easy option to pick. Callahan also refers to economics, sociology and political science to explain the growing cheating culture. In this section, he talks about deception and corporate frauds that have become so common today. He did not take into account the consumer psychology in this section of the book, which is major drawback