Rich Purtell

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Rich Purtell
Posted over 1 year ago
Is corruption limited to individuals or can a system be corrupt?
I think we need to be consistent. Citizens United is a mistake because: Greed- Individuals can be greedy, corporate greed comes from the collective greed of individuals. Progressive taxation on INDIVIDUALS was an effective brake pedal on greed. Raising corporate tax rates won't fix greed. Corruption- Close cousin to greed. A system with poor accountability enables and strengthens corruption. But again such a system cannot succeed if all individuals within it are honest and of high integrity. C = M + D - A (Klitgaard 1998). M - Monopoly. High power for vendors and suppliers who are providing a service. D - Discretion. High power, especially to INDIVIDUALS, to bypass rules for purchasing a service. Those with the discretion could be public employees, or private employees providing a service (like an architect or engineer for a construction project). A - Accountability. This is what holds corruption in check. Watchdogs and whistleblowers. Proactive risk assessment and avoidance methods are FAR preferred over reactive methods such as auditing after the damage is done. I have a group on Facebook "Corruption in Construction" that I would welcome anyone to visit. So a system can effect the C = M + D - A equation, but ultimately it is the honor and integrity of the individuals within the system that will determine the level of corruption. I've seen many, many cases of corruption as a result of ignorance of the many, being exploited by the craftiness of just a select few. So in that respect, a poor system gives excessive leverage to bad people such that only a few rotten apples can cause a lot of damage. We have many such poor systems in the USA.