Government Corruption Is Bad
Anti-corruption politics has been going on for millennia. It has been a major theme in Progressivism for well over a century. Corruption is a capitalist phenomenon: it is for private self-interest. Government has a significant role to play in anti-corruption efforts, both for government and private industry.
- Capitalist Corruption Of Government (12 links)
- Government corruption by capitalists has long been pervasive. Capitalists do it because it is profitable for them to engage in wars, control regulation, and give themselves more power. Campaign funding and advertising, a revolving door between the public and private sectors of the influential and other sorts of payoffs for politicians, their staffs and other government employees are a worldwide problem. Government exists to serve the populace, not primarily capitalists.
- Bribery, Cooperation, and the Evolution of Prosocial Institutions [More...]
- Large-scale anonymous cooperation (as in markets and rights) requires institutions with the power to punish. Permitting corruption such as bribery and nepotism (which many libertarians favor) undermines the institutions. Game-theoretic modeling.
- Calm down, Will Wilkinson! Joe Stiglitz is not the problem. [More...]
- "Are Will and I living in the same country? This idea that progressive success has led to public-private collusion is very clearly a false narrative."
- Rent Seeking (3 links)
- Libertarians often blame government for rent seeking behavior. That is the fault of capitalist entrepreneurs themselves, who lobby government to put in place obstacles for competitors.
- The 1% solution [More...]
- Matt Steinglass chastizes Will Wilkinson: "[...] trying to describe the history of the past 30 years, with its great growth in inequality and increasing influence of money on politics, as one of increasingly progressive ideology leading to growing government intervention in the economy seems to me impossibly far-fetched."
Given the absurdity of restricting the study and definition of corruption to the public sector, one may ask why so many social scientists define it in these limited terms... One possible reason for their bias is the widespread influence of pro-market, antistate, libertarian ideology. A primary ideological target is the allegedly systemic abuse of power by politicians. The misuse of power by directors of large corporations— several of which are as big as some national states—does not raise the same level of concern among leading libertarian thinkers. According to this thinking, most voluntary contracts between consenting adults are moral and legitimate, as long as they do not harm others. Ignoring the negative externalities of corruption, libertarians further argue that bribery and other forms of malpractice in the private sphere have potential benefits and are expressions of entrepreneurial activity.
Geoffrey Hodgson, "From Pleasure Machines to Moral Communities: An Evolutionary Economics without Homo economicus", p. 157.