Thursday, August 31, 2006

Basic Economics on Corruption

Yesterday, I announced that its the people who lead not government that we should be upset with. There were many responses which led me to this post upon corruption. A light introduction about our Nation's history: The thoughts of this Nation's forefathers was to not let the government control the citizens. Let us recall that first came the Articles of Confederation which gave no power to the Federal Government. After some harsh times, the Constitution was created which strengthened the role of the Federal government, but is the Constitution created to control us or the Federal Government? Of course, it was created to control the government, but throughout our Nation's history we have had some leaders who have created laws and amendments that strengthened the Federal Government's role. Thus the beginning of the corruption. I am not going to announce that those leaders who strengthened the role of the Federal Government had intentions of abusing their power, rather that it enables the government to be further corrupted.

This leads us to the corruption that many have begun to find in the government and the question, how do we reduce the amount of corruption? What types of government have the most corruption? Many would say totalitarian governments as in monarchies and communist governments. Why, because the government had complete control therefore controlled the levels of corruption. Is it for this reason that the forefathers had created a democratic republic?

No, the forefathers did not create this form of government with thoughts in reducing corruption. Perhaps they did, with the knowledge of economics that more competition is better as they can balance out the legal system disallowing the corruption from spreading. But a government is unlike a market and therefore the competition only increases the amount of corruption. What do I mean? That we have many elected officials and therefore have a large amount of people that are able to be corrupted or influenced. Rather in a monarchy or another form of totalitarianism, it is difficult to corrupt since there is mainly one ruler, therefore the costs of corrupting this one official is high, but the benifits are just as large or larger. In the democratic state, the large numbers increases the amount of those who can be influenced or corrupted but reduces the amount that they may do.
An incorruptible government is impossible, but again we look towards man and his ability. There have been those who have been able to surpass the influence of corruption. Yet corruption is found in all different states even to religion, where King David sent a man to war for a lifetime so that he may have his wife.
This is getting a little long so we shall leave the corruption topic for another post, but let us end this with a simple look upon sports. Rules are needed to guide the sport, but the rules do not control the players. If the NFL and their officials were corrupted and influenced by one team, we could then see bad calls that gives certain teams an edge over others. This would lead to certain teams doing great and others faltering. So how does the NFL reduce the amount of corruption? I'll leave this question unanswered until the next post.

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