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Is the American system corrupt?


charles brough
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How do we comare with other nations in corruption? According the highly controversial Corruption Index, we are 7-8 in a 1-10 scale with 10 being the least corrupt.

 

It seems to me that we in the US deceive the system by making corruption legal. In many countries, you bribe to get what you want, but here it is called "campaign contributions," "lobbying," and "deceptive advertising." The corporate world and its lawyer-lobbyists legislate loop-whole laden laws so immorality can become legal.

Edited by charles brough
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It seems to me that we in the US deceive the system by making corruption legal. In many countries, you bribe to get what you want, but here it is called "campaign contributions," "lobbying," and "deceptive advertising." The corporate world and its lawyer-lobbyists legislate loop-whole laden laws so immorality can become legal.

I think this is exactly what has happened. The wealthiest don't use social programs and therefore don't want their taxes paying for them. Corporations will always look for ways to lessen their cost of doing business. These battles have been and will always be fought and it's up to the citizen voters to make sure the unbalanced wealth doesn't gain too strong an advantage.

 

I think the real problems occur when the wealthiest also want to pay less than their fair share of taxes. As the leaders of the corporations, they are using those charters to pay less taxes to maintain our roads, even though their corporations use the heaviest vehicles on them and their employees represent the most traffic. They use the argument of free market principles to avoid regulation while at the same time use political influence to squelch competing businesses and technologies, and subsidize themselves, which not only removes tax resources but also does NOTHING to improve GDP. The corporations have been arguing that less taxes will help them create more jobs, but when given the chance they don't do anything of the sort.

 

And I also think deceptive advertising plays a huge part in all of this. We may not think we're susceptible, and in fact one of the tactics used is to establish that we're free to NOT listen to the advertising, which somehow makes the deceptive practices ethical. But the majority of citizen voters ARE heavily influenced by this type of spin, and I think it's played a heavy part in bringing us to the brink we find ourselves facing. If the spin wasn't effective, no one would pay billions for it.

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A link would have been helpful.

 

from http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/in_detail/#myAnchor1

The CPI focuses on corruption in the public sector, or corruption which involves public officials, civil servants or politicians. The data sources used to compile the index include questions relating to the abuse of public power and focus on: bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and on questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts in the public sector.

 

Remember that publicly-elected positions are a small part of the government, even if they are the most visible, and while they write the laws and ordinances and authorize spending, they aren't necessarily the ones who actually handle the money. So there are lot of people who could potentially be getting kickbacks or have their hand in the till, and you could have governments who turn a blind eye toward it. Bribing can be as mundane as a local clerk requiring some money to do their job, like having to fork over an extra $20 to get your driver's license (does that happen in the US? Would we stand for it?), or to process some permit and not have the paperwork get "lost". It's a building or health inspector accepting money and not reporting violations they see. It's a clerk leaking documents so that a company can get the low bid on a contract, or finding ways to not have to open a contract up to competitive bidding in exchange for a kickback. It's writing phantom orders on someone's budget, faking the receipts and pocketing the cash.

 

It's whether the system tolerates such things or actively prosecutes offenders when it can.

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A link would have been helpful.

 

from http://cpi.transpare...tail/#myAnchor1

 

 

Remember that publicly-elected positions are a small part of the government, even if they are the most visible, and while they write the laws and ordinances and authorize spending, they aren't necessarily the ones who actually handle the money. So there are lot of people who could potentially be getting kickbacks or have their hand in the till, and you could have governments who turn a blind eye toward it. Bribing can be as mundane as a local clerk requiring some money to do their job, like having to fork over an extra $20 to get your driver's license (does that happen in the US? Would we stand for it?), or to process some permit and not have the paperwork get "lost". It's a building or health inspector accepting money and not reporting violations they see. It's a clerk leaking documents so that a company can get the low bid on a contract, or finding ways to not have to open a contract up to competitive bidding in exchange for a kickback. It's writing phantom orders on someone's budget, faking the receipts and pocketing the cash.

 

It's whether the system tolerates such things or actively prosecutes offenders when it can.

Yes, we have not sunk to that level! Is that next? We the people could be led to it by the way big business and government lead the way. Once this becomes the way the whole economy functions, it is extremely hard to change, to root out. This slid into ever more corruption was not at all apparent a half century ago. There seems to be a trend underway and the outlook is disturbing. What is causing it?
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Yes, we have not sunk to that level! Is that next? We the people could be led to it by the way big business and government lead the way. Once this becomes the way the whole economy functions, it is extremely hard to change, to root out. This slid into ever more corruption was not at all apparent a half century ago. There seems to be a trend underway and the outlook is disturbing. What is causing it?

 

I don't think that a slide to that level would be tolerated, because we have a system in place that would fight it.

 

If you think things are getting worse, you should read up on history. I've been reading about the events leading up to prohibition, and corruption 100 years ago was arguably worse than it is now. Disseminating information is so much faster and easier these days, so it's harder for things to stay hidden.

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I don't think that a slide to that level would be tolerated, because we have a system in place that would fight it.

 

If you think things are getting worse, you should read up on history. I've been reading about the events leading up to prohibition, and corruption 100 years ago was arguably worse than it is now. Disseminating information is so much faster and easier these days, so it's harder for things to stay hidden.

It would seem that we all agree that corruption is more serious than it would seem from the Index, but not as bad that you have to pay bribes to get a drivers-license, tip your kid's teacher or pay to get at the head of the line.

 

However, I wonder of you can imagine what it would be like if we had a hyper-inflation and the government imposed wage and price controls on everthing . . .(!)

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However, I wonder of you can imagine what it would be like if we had a hyper-inflation and the government imposed wage and price controls on everthing . . .(!)

 

No need to imagine. I was alive in the 70's. I would argue that Nixon was already corrupt.

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