A Poem about Conflicts of Interests

They call them velvet handcuffs,
the payments from pathological profiteering. 

The philosopher, physician, and preacher
Are undone with equal ease,

Justifying and embracing sin along an invisible
Slide from righteousness to depravity.

It started with so much hard work,
Surely remuneration was appropriate.

To be honourable doesn’t mean to be impoverished,
It only means to think independently.

This won’t affect my judgment, he assured us,
And he was offended anyone thought otherwise.

Someone simply doing his job has no conflict
Of interest, only the freedom to be objective.

One day he has an epiphany, but has one last lament:
“If I quit now, I will lose everything.”