Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Corruption Is A Symptom of BIG Government!

Filipinos have long been seduced to the notion that the only way to get rid of corruption is to elect or put in place a "virtuous" or "moral" leader or what I call "personality based" politics. Hence, the political cycle of hope and despair: great hope in a new leader and eventual despair from the unrealized expectations on the incumbents.

And this vicious cycle has seemingly translated to a perpetual fantasy or the ever elusive goal of good governance.

Unfortunately, hardly anyone including media and our experts in the academe or in private institutions would deal with political realities.

As the following video from Daniel Mitchell of would show, corruption is only a symptom of excessive government interventions, welfare system wrought dependency culture, bloated bureaucracy, stifling web of regulations, scores of counterproductive hardly implementable laws, and government policy instituted handpicking of winners and losers.

In short, big government puts in the incentives that rewards corruption which leads to economic bondage. Ergo, the bigger the government the bigger risks of corruption. We partly dealt about this in our previous post
The Economics of Philippine Election Spending.

Although the following video is referenced to Americans, this big government -corruption causality has a universal application. Just replace Malacanang with Washington and the political dynamics are all the same.

Anyway this introductory quote by Mr. Mitchell from,

``Washington is riddled with both legal and illegal corruption, but why?

``Perhaps it is because government is too big and has too much power. The federal budget redistributes $3.5 trillion through more than 1,800 subsidy programs. The regulatory burden is $1.2 trillion and there have been 51,000 new regulations since 1995. And there are more than 70,000 pages of tax law and regulations.

``These are the reasons why Washington is a hornet’s nest of deal-making, influence-peddling, and back-scratching."

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