McKinsey Highlights Political Corruption

In case you don’t know, McKinsey is a consulting firm that regularly works for both corporations and the government agencies pretending to regulate them at the same time. Yes, these kinds of conflicts are the norm in Washington. They defy commonsense. They are obviously unethical arrangements. The conflicts are so breathtakingly obvious that no person with any integrity left would consider these arrangements acceptable. They exist in Washington because they often provide lucrative jobs for former members of Congress, agency officials, and Capitol Hill and White House staffers. But in a government that pretended to care about ethics, McKinsey would be barred from contracting with the government.

We now know that McKinsey was advising several pharmaceutical companies as to the best ways to get people hooked on opioids while simultaneously working with the FDA on its approaches to regulating opioids and other drugs.</p.

In typical political theater, several attorneys general announced a $600 million settlement with McKinsey that doesn’t represent a drop in its proffit bucket. As a part of the settlement, McKinsey was allowed to admit no wrongdoing, even though a child with an elementary understanding of fairness could understand McKinsey’s actions were wrong.

Once again, a business knowingly put profits over potentially millions of lives and misled if not outright lied about its having done so and was allowed to admit no corporate wrongdoing. No executive will be charged with anything. The company is still working for corporations and those pretending to regulate them.

Congress has done nothing to close the door on lobbying by former government officials. Nothing has been done to ensure companies cannot work for corporations and the agencies supposedly regulating them.

If America was interested in justice, McKinsey and its executives would have been prosecuted. The federal government would stop awarding McKinsey contracts. But since the political moment has passed and the attorneys general have gotten their photo ops, for McKinsey it’s business as usual. Making money on both sides of supposedly regulatory relationships and ensuring its continued profits by rewarding Washington insiders with jobs in exchange for a total lack of accountability. As always, the losers are the American people, especially those of us who still believe in ethics and integrity.

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