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Robert Winner


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Is corruption limited to individuals or can a system be corrupt?

SCOTUS is hearing a argument that defines corruption. At stake is campaign financing.

The question is at the base of the McCrutcheon V FEC and the Constitutionality of the American Anti-corruption Act.

The argument centers around lobbies making big "donations" for the right to have access to law makers and influence the decision making.

This decision is very important and could potentially change the way elections are run and the way the government operates.

So is corruption limited to individuals or can a system be corrupt?


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  • Dec 18 2013: Any system can be corrupted. Can a system be designed so that it is corrupt? Let me reverse the question slightly, No system can survive with corrupt individuals running or being integral to it. I feel honest good people can make any system not corrupt. Hence, corruption starts with the individual.
    • Dec 30 2013: Exactly. Extremely honest people can make any system of government work, for example. Flip that around and dishonest people will make any form of government corrupt. It all starts with the individual, just as you said.
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      Jan 5 2014: Wayne and Rich,
      I agree....it starts with the individual. Perhaps an organization is more or less corrupt depending on how many individuals within the organization are more or less corrupt? If there are enough honest people within an organization I believe it can overshadow, and hopefully change corrupt behaviors by one or more individuals.
      • Jan 7 2014: Colleen,

        I agree sometimes the honest people can stop the corruption. Unfortunately if the corrupt person is in the right position, no one can stop them. I have seen it many times.
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      Jan 7 2014: That is true Wayne....we have seen it many times throughout history. I still think that it is very difficult for one person to be corrupt by him/herself. SOMEWHERE along the line, that person has support from others for the corruption.....SOMEONE either directly participates, or is aware, and with awareness, there is an opportunity for change.
      • Jan 8 2014: Agreed. The ones who acted in a corrupt manner was chasing the God of Money and/or power. Somehow they were taught to make these their goals ignoring anything else.

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