David Axelrod, President Obama’s chief political advisor, said Obama’s outrage was “pretty great” when he learned of some of the “shortcomings” at the Minerals Management Service and its “coziness” with an industry it’s supposed to regulate.
Coziness is just another word for CRONYISM and unethical conflicts of interest, which plague many workplaces.
The BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is undeniably the result of such conflicts of interest. The result is several dead employees (yet again from BP), an enormous environmental disaster, irreparable damage to regional economies, and another brazenly egregious action by a corporation that already has a terrible workplace safety record.
How much cronyism plagues the rest of our government regulatory entities? Take the LinkedIn Poll:
We can measure the BP catastrophe in many ways because it is so tangible. How can we measure – or even acknowledge – the often invisible results of cronyism in other government regulatory agencies?
We’d have to add up the following:
Number of dead and injured employees since we’ve had OSHA and safety regulations in place
Number of employees who left jobs because of inadequate EEOC or other government investigations into EEO and ADA violations
Number of employees unlawfully retaliated against, resulting in loss of job and health insurance for themselves and their families
Number of homes foreclosed on due to unjustified, unlawful, or retaliatory terminations
Number of bankruptcies filed due to such job losses
Number of health problems and costs of health care passed on to taxpayers due to unlawful terminations and losses of health insurance
Negative impacts upon children whose parents lose their jobs due to unlawful termination
Monetary and stress costs to former employees and their families who can afford to hire lawyers to prove they were unlawfully terminated
Amount of taxpayer dollars spent on the salaries, benefits, and pensions of those regulators who engage in cronyism that causes this damage
Of course there are many more costs associated with the results of cronyism in regulatory entities, but these are no less catastrophic than the current BP disaster, though they are less visible to us all.
There are millions of government regulatory employees who do a fine job. And then there are those who do engage in cronyism and contribute to the invisible disasters that are no less harmful than the current oil spill.
There are several groups on LinkedIn that address these issues: Anti-Corruption Professionals, Cornell ILR Alumni, Corporate Whistleblower, Proactive Prevention Culture in the Workplace, and HR/OD Credible Activists.
What can we all do to demand an end to harmful government cronyism now?
Many of you have sent me your true stories of your experiences with these issues, and I appreciate those stories. Please keep them coming. Tell YOUR Story!
Write to your legislators and demand an end to workplace cronyism – especially in regulatory agencies.