Political Corruption

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I would do this myself, but the knowledge in math and physics goes beyond me. I have never even thought about it, but figured someone probably has.

Anyway, is there anything in physics or math that goes into the probability of Political Corruption, or just corruption in a system in general. For example, the US Congress has 535 members' what's the probability of all 535 members being corrupted.

Kind of like Compartmentalization

I figure also, there would have to be breakage in a system if it got to big. For 535 people I have no idea. I figure it would be 1/<Insert really long number here> chance that 98% of people on the planet are in on some sort of conspiracy. Anyway, if there is some related work that someone knows of just post a couple of links to give an idea of where to start looking.

Thanx!

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You first need to define what metric you are using for the distinction between "is corrupt" and "is not corrupt."

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You first need to define what metric you are using for the distinction between "is corrupt" and "is not corrupt."

That's very true... I guess corruption as in: Lying, Stealing, and Cheating for personal gain. Something along those lines...

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Still will need to be more specific, though. How many lies per sentences spoken? How much stealing, what amount, stealing from whom and in what ways? How is personal gain defined? What if it helps a friend? This being the mathematics formula, you need to get way more precise. Think billiard balls and collisions, not gut feelings and graft.

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Is there some type of format I can use to plug in the variables and variants, so it makes sense, and maybe thinking about how to do it wouldn't be so difficult. Is it even possible to do? Because now that I think about it. Isn't the accuracy of a model dependent on the possible variables and variants within the scenario? For this instance on corruption, there would be millions if not more possible forms of corruption, and since corruption is opinionated anyway when it comes to politics... It means corruption is skewed to political opinion, which could lead to the model data being corrupted due to political bias.

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I'm really not sure. My hope is that someone at this site who is better than me at math might step in with some thoughts or guidance at this point.

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There are metrics out there. You periodically see articles about the "Most corrupt states" and "Most corrupt cities" and so on. Typically, they define their corruption by frequency of bribery charges being levied and convicted, how often public officials are censured, etc. I am sure that the pop articles cite back to some actual journal articles where the authors define explicitly what they define corruption as. I am sure that the various authors have different definitions, if only because the Most corrupt states lists are rarely the same. You would probably do well to review some of the scientific literature.

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I would do this myself, but the knowledge in math and physics goes beyond me. I have never even thought about it, but figured someone probably has.

Anyway, is there anything in physics or math that goes into the probability of Political Corruption, or just corruption in a system in general. For example, the US Congress has 535 members' what's the probability of all 535 members being corrupted.

Kind of like Compartmentalization

I figure also, there would have to be breakage in a system if it got to big. For 535 people I have no idea. I figure it would be 1/<Insert really long number here> chance that 98% of people on the planet are in on some sort of conspiracy. Anyway, if there is some related work that someone knows of just post a couple of links to give an idea of where to start looking.

Thanx!

I think one theory that would go into this the most is Game Theory, which goes into politics as well. Game Theory goes a lot into the strategy of two groups and how each would react to the actions of the other. Political corruption might be investigated through game theory.

I might be wrong though.

EDIT: Here is a book about Game Theory and politics. It might not go into political corruption however it goes into politics and its relations with game theory: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=fihEODPWgHAC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Game+Theory+and+politics&ots=Om19M7OqzB&sig=KFvLkyo19NDO9leC6-XkXqsX3oc#v=onepage&q=Game%20Theory%20and%20politics&f=fals

http://www.amazon.com/Political-Game-Theory-Introduction-Analytical/dp/0521841070

I'll try to find a free article, but those are some sources.

Edited by Unity+

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For starters, US politicians are supposed to represent the interests of their constituents in return for being endowed with political power - the line between that and corruption cannot be drawn without making some non-mathematical judgments.

Illustration: ideologically fascistic politicians are supposed to act as the political muscle for their groups of corporate backers - bring the army and police in on their side in disputes, modify the tax laws in their favor, etc. - in return for that backing financial and otherwise. if they do that - keep their promises, stay true to their political philosophy and loyal to those who are loyal to them even when it costs them, even in the face of risk and potential hardship - are they corrupt?

At what point does the Governor of New Jersey's acceptance of hurricane relief money from the Obama administration become corrupt: 1) When he accepts the offer of aid and embraces the Kenyan Usurper against all his Party's and voting base's announced principles? 2) When he distributes the aid money preferentially to contractors his administration is familiar with, has done successful business with before, and believes can be relied upon to deliver? Etc) When he refuses to hand out aid money to otherwise more effective and reliable contractors and middlemen who have not supported his administration's policies and attempts to govern the State, but without denying the money to regions and populations who need it to rebuild? When he hands aid money to supporters he knows are thieving some of it on their own? When he employs aid money as the carrot in a carrot/stick approach to expanding his base of political support, with only secondary regard for provision of relief to the afflicted? When he and his pals divert aid money to their own private accounts?

Note that if the very first item there - 1) - is not your line, you have made a political judgment not shared by as much as 27% of the US electorate. That is evidence of "bias", in an objective or mathematical sense.

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If the probability of one congressmen to be corrupt was p, then the probability that they are all corrupt is $p^{535}$, since there are 535 congressmen. You also need to determine the value of p.

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Wanted to come back and say that Game Theory was pretty much the explanation here without doing any self modeling. I can't tell you how many many politicians are corrupt, but I can tell you about how much I don't really care. I found it an interesting question, and figured there was something relating to it. Anyway thanx for the info guys.

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Transparency International uses several methods and indexes. The references at the bottom has a link to a 'users guide' to measuring corruption that may help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparency_International

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