Sunday, May 12, 2002

Government corruption

I have a million and one beefs with Democrats and modern-day liberals, both philosophically and in particulars. But what is really aggravating is watching how they'll bray ever onward about something needing a solution, while ruling out every form that solution might logically take.

Let's consider corruption in govt, for instance. Nobody likes it. Democrats in particular should be outraged, because govt is their chosen vehicle for delivering so many social goods - their cries should be the loudest as we run the corrupt out of town. But no, they were the guys who defended Bill Clinton to the end, demonstrating that it's all about partisanship, not good govt.

Regarding corruption, what should we expect of govt employees, including our Senators and Representatives? We trust these people with our liberty, our treasury and our economy. Clearly they will be subject to solicitations for favors. What if they are compromised?

This isn't exactly hypothetical. "Charles Dodgson" writes "So the corporations are buying the laws they want."

But why does he focus on the corporations? If they're "buying laws", who are they buying them from? There's only one source of supply - the govt. So it should be clear that such corporate malfeasance (if in fact that's what it is) cannot occur unless the govt is involved. And arguably the most corrupt govts on earth exist where there are no corporations - nobody with any knowledge of history can support the idea that govts need outside influences to cause corruption.

So how do we attack this problem of govt corruption? Do we focus on the millions of people who might conceivably benefit from rule-bending or -breaking? Or do we focus on the one party that must be present to all acts of corruption, ie, the govt itself?

IMO it seems clear that the most socially efficient way to approach this is by putting more responsibility on the govt. That of course is a major undertaking, made the more complicated by the fact that the body that must implement the changes has an interest in preventing their implementation. (which is one more argument in favor of smaller govt).

But in the meantime Mr. "Dodgson" can help us by dropping this focus on corporate demonization and acknowledging that none of this could happen without the govt.

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