So apparently I am the only person who doesn’t find the ACORN videos the least bit surprising and is also not terribly put off by them. I understand that its a public relations nightmare and it will probably end the group but I am also not sure what they could have done to avoid it.

Megan says

There is clearly something deeply wrong with the organization.  One or two bad apples could be explained away, but six, across the country, indicates that at the very least, their HR policy is very troubled.  There’s no way to defend this.

How exactly was this HR policy supposed to function and where exactly were you supposed to get employees who would not have gone along with this?

ACORN pays its workers as little as possible. It famously fought to be excluded from minimum wage laws. Their operations are not in the best of neighborhoods or the best of buildings. The perks are shall we say, minimal.

There is a reason why corporate office workers get such nice digs and 40K plus salaries. Its not because of the goodness of the corporation’s heart. Its because without these enticements they couldn’t find people who could be trusted not to regularly scam the very corporation they worked for.

Regardless people are going to scam you. All organizations tend towards corruption. The idea is to hopefully keep the corruption at manageable levels. That means hiring people who either A) have a level of neuroticism that predisposes them against taking the risk of corruption or B) have a lot to loose by getting caught.

(B) can be either social or financial. But there has to be some carrot and that means relatively high wages and status. ACORN was offering neither. It was also ruling out high neuroticism folks by having offices in rougher neighborhoods.

Thus you have an employee base that is highly prone to corruption. I just don’t think there is any way around this.