Which is ethically better – to gain or to give? John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, recommended some of both, and insisted that giving was good. Let’s look at three recent public conflicts between self-interest and altruism: 1. Hillary and Donald in their debate about their personal income taxes; 2. Martin Shkreli’s provocative raising of drug prices; and 3. the disputes over increasing the minimum wage.

Alan Easton has a PhD in Biochemistry and worked for 18 years for Monsanto Company contributing reagents to pharmaceutical research. He has been a member of the Ethical Society of St. Louis since 1989, serving as President of the Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2012. For over 10 years Alan has participated at the Society in the Great Books reading and discussion group, a forum on the major ideas of western civilization.