Outside Reading — Outrageous Fortunes edition

Betraying the Victims of the Opioid Crisis by Ryan Hampton

In the myriad of legal actions taken against Purdue Pharma, and the Sackler family that profits from it, the spigot drip of half-measure punishments is no less infuriating for being wholly predictable. At best, the Sacklers turned a blind eye to documented suffering, craving more dollars for their already overstuffed bank accounts. There’s ample evidence that they did far worse than that, though. They engaged in predatory practices that kept putting a dangerous product on the prescription lists of the most vulnerable. For The New York Times, Ryan Hampton details the serious shortcomings of the compromise agreements hammered out by government officials, corporate lawyers, and a judicial system tilted to favor the wealthy. Hundreds of thousands have died in the U.S. as a direct result of opioid addition, and that number is largely attributable to Purdue Pharma’s cash cow, OxyContin. At least there are signs that maybe, just maybe, the Sacklers haven’t fully escaped due punishment.


The War on Terror Was Corrupt From the Start by Farah Stockman

Entire books have been, and will be, written about the rampant corruption soldered tight to the U.S.military’s two decade boondoggle in Afghanistan. Farah Stockman provides a tight summary in this opinion piece published by The New York Times. Unfortunately, corruption might not be the correct word. The George W. Bush administration built the diversion of funds to bad actors right into the plan from the get-go. The money poured into Afghanistan could have made a difference there. Instead, capitalistic vultures padded their wealth on the untold misery of others.

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