FILE - This March 21, 2018 file photo shows the Capitol in Washington before dawn. A Gallup poll in December 2018 asked respondents in the U.S. to rank 20 different occupations in terms of their ethical standards _ members of Congress ranked the lowest, below car salespeople and telemarketers. Nurses were at the top. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Admissions scandal unfolds amid cynicism about moral values

March 15, 2019 - 12:27 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The college-admissions bribery scheme revealed this week by federal prosecutors coincides with increasing cynicism about U.S. moral values.

Ethics experts say Americans are barraged with accounts of corruption, greed and amoral behavior to the point that many likely wonder, "Why should I play by the rules?"

Unethical behavior has always been among America's national pastimes. Yet a strong case can be made that this moment is distinctive, with its constant stream of high-profile scandals entangling bankers, drug companies, sports organizations, government officials and others.

The admissions scandal, as outlined this week by federal authorities, is the biggest such scam ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. Fifty people were charged in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly paid an estimated $25 million in bribes to college coaches and other insiders to get their children into elite schools.

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