2 comments

  • >Corruption probably has many motivators. One cause may be a populations lack of trust in the fairness of it's society.Another may be that rules are not enforced due to apathy, incompetence, disorganisation, or lack of resources.Every behaviour is a part of human nature, it is what makes us adaptable.I'm sure sociologists have many theories as to why corruption, i.e. benefit for oneself at the expense of soceity, exists. It has even been shown to exist in bacteria, although i can't remember the source.Sometimes though, corruption performs a useful function, and it is merely the most convenient way of getting something done.This idea was illustrated for me when i lived in Taiwan. Personal income tax there is 6%, and even then, it's not always the full six. Healthcare on the other hand is almost free. It would cost me €1 to visit the doctor or the dentist (Taiwan is a wealthy country, so €1 won't get you much in general).I asked one of the doctors once how this could occur. I said in NZ income tax ranges from 24-33% and yet our health system is always in debt and waiting lines grow etc,. Plus it was €30 to visit either a doc or a dentist, just for a check up.The doctor laughed and explained that when a businessman wants a favour, like re-zoning, he bribes the gov't. The gov't then use this money to pay for the health system.Damn, that just sounded brilliant to me.Now why does NZ have so little corruption ? I would say it is because people have faith in the equality of their system.Also, I would guess that it may have something to do with the age of the country also. Having started off on an even keel in the 1840s with treaties, rules of law transplanted from britain, and an agricultural economy, there was little incentive, opportunity, or history of corruption.Finally, was the survey on corruption, or people's perception of corruption? I think i saw one that was the latter, in which case it could just be argued that NZers aren't that aware of the back handers that get done. Because there are definitely some favours going around.

  • >So NZers are naive then? Lol.Seriously though that's a good answer. I agree that corruption can be useful. I can't remember where it is, somewhere in Latin America. But wherever it is the locals talk of corruption being the oil you need to grease the heavy, clunking wheels and clogs of the state bureacracy i.e. corruption is simply a necessity. There is always a better solution e.g. a progressive corporation tax in Taiwan's case, and the example you gave only works for small countries with more business than the size of population could justify in any larger country.I think the biggest single cause of corruption though is necessity and perceived necessity. Who are the evil people in films? They're always people who have been brought up suffering, and believing that the world is black and white in that strength and weakness are all that matter. In other words they act in 'evil' ways because they think they're just abiding by universal laws that others are too naive to comprehend. I think corruption is similar, though I'm not saying it's evil. Most big players in the corrupt world probably think of their world in a certain light, which makes their behaviour simple accordance with the way things are. On the smaller scale it's often real necessities that motivate corruption. Is it corrupt for a policeman to ask for a bribe from a foreign tourist if not doing so would mean his family goes hungry? The answer is that it is still classed as corruption, but it's necessary, and justifiable corruption. The problem is that as you implied it's an institutional problem because when corruption becomes a normality it becomes a perceived necessity. If some want to avoid corruption they're unfortunately left with little choice. If company A is corrupt then company B needs to be to compete, and the same is true of normal consumers.

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