Once again our good friends, in this case Dr. Roy Poses, over at Health Care Renewal provide grist for our mill:
This instructive post first notes how Mr. Bill Weldon, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, was one of eight business leaders invited by President Obama to the White House to give advice in the economy and in particular, to tell the Administration how it could restore their confidence. The remainder of the post is a litany of all the illegal behavior that has earned J&J fines and censure in the past several years, and how Mr. Weldom has been given hefty annual raises despite presiding over this string of disasters. Dr. Poses naturally asks why any Administration would want to gain such a person's confidence.
We could dig into this a little deeper and ask whether this interest on the part of the White House in making nice with big business--potential source of huge piles of campaign cash as the 2012 election looms--has anything at all to do with the Feds doing a one-eighty on some "get tough" conflict of interest provisions, as we discussed recently:
We could also ask about the timing of this sudden desire to regain the "confidence" of big business. It seemed to come right after the Democrats took a whupping in the 2010 elections. From a purely political point of view that timing may have made sense. From a policy point of view it is hard to get away from the fact that we were, in 2010, in the middle of a very deep recession, brought about by the irresponsible behavior of that same big-business community--who continue to tell us that the best way toward future economic prosperity is the same set of policies that got us into that recession--that is, shrink big government, don't regulate business, and above all else don't tax the rich. And, as Charles Ferguson showed dramatically in his brilliant documentary, Inside Job--
--Obama proceeded to appoint to his own economic team almost all of the major architects of the previous disaster.