A recap of the past year’s issues
and our readers’ responses
COSTCO WAREHOUSES offer
plenty of food for eating. The
Connection serves up food for
thought, especially in the monthly
Debate, which features a pertinent current issue, pro and con
views from experts and responses
from members around the country. And each January, we present
a recap of the issues discussed
during the previous year.
In 2007, we looked at issues
of interest to those in the work-force, such as “Is multi-tasking an effective way
to work?” and “Should employers consider credit
reports as part of the hiring process?” Both questions inspired
passionate responses, with large
majorities answering no. Five
New York, Washington and Wisconsin—passed laws generally
requiring employers to prove the
reports are job related.
Political issues covered lifting sanctions on Cuba, banning
plastic bags and government’s
role in managing health care.
The Cuba issue picked up steam
in October when the United
Nations voted overwhelmingly
to urge the United States to lift
the embargo. The resolution was
nonbinding and the U.S. government has shown no intent to
accept it, although some presidential candidates have made it a
After San Francisco became
the first U.S. city to ban plastic
grocery bags, other cities and
counties jumped on board,
including Oakland, California,
and Suffolk County, New York,
and it’s being considered in
Boston, Baltimore and Portland,
Oregon, among other places.
And national health care is on
the agenda of virtually every
presidential candidate, suggesting its time may be near.
Social ethics played a part
in debates on spanking children
and selling human organs. The
results of these and the rest of
2007’s debates are listed below.
Readers can respond online
or catch up with past debates in
The Connection’s Online Edition
archive. Go to costco.com and
click on “Costco Connection
Magazine.” Watch for more in tel-
lectual sustenance in 2008.
Here are the issues we looked at in 2007
January YES 36% ✓NO 64% July YES 40% ✓NO 60%
Is multi-tasking an effective way to work? Should the U.S. ban plastic grocery bags?
YES Emily Wilska, business owner YES Ross Mirkarimi, city supervisor
NO Michelle M. Weil, Ph.D., clinical psychologist NO Sharon Kneiss, American Chemistry Council
February YES 17% ✓NO 83%
Should employers consider credit reports
as part of the hiring process?
YES Robert Capwell, company president/CEO
NO Chi Chi Wu, attorney
August ✓YES 57% NO 43%
Should government play a role in managing
YES John Sweeney, president, AFL-CIO
NO Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House
March YES 48% ✓NO 52%
Should the U.S. remove sanctions on Cuba?
YES Wayne Smith, professor, Latin American studies
NO Jaime Suchlicki, history professor
April YES 42% ✓NO 58%
Should people get paid to donate
YES Amy L. Friedman, associate professor
NO Jeffrey Kahn, Ph.D., MPH,
September YES 48% ✓NO 52%
Should we rely more on nuclear power
to meet our energy needs?
YES Mary Quillian, National Energy Institute
NO Paul Gunter, Reactor Watchdog Project
October YES 32% ✓NO 68%
Should public works be operated by
YES Geoffrey Segal, Reason Foundation
NO Tim McFeeley, Center for Policy Alternatives
May YES 40% ✓NO 60%
Should spanking young children be banned?
YES John E. B. Myers, law professor
NO Virginia Shiller, Ph.D., family therapist
November YES 39% ✓NO 61%
Should government legislate "appropriate"
YES Derrick Shepherd, Louisiana state senator
NO James R. Miron, mayor, Stratford, CT
June ✓YES 65% NO 35%
Should farm subsidies be eliminated?
YES Jeff Flake, Republican congressman
NO Bob Stallman, president, American Farm
December YES 49% ✓NO 51%
Do Americans pamper their pets too much?
YES Jon Katz, author
NO Arden Moore, author
You can reach us with your Debate comments and suggested questions at P.O. Box 34088,
Seattle, WA 98124-1088; by fax at (425) 313-6718; or by e-mail at
CHRIS A RUSNAK