Unexpectedly Intriguing!
25 May 2006

The problem with corruption in government, any government, is that the people who can actually do something about it are the same people who stand to benefit from corruption. The answer for fixing corruption is almost always the same: create and enforce an open and transparent system where the interaction between public officials and those seeking their favor is easily and instantly accessible by individual members of the public. The requirement of full, instant public disclosure provides the basic sunlight needed to reduce the back-room deals sought by blood-sucking vampirical special-interests, that can't stand up to the light of day otherwise, to dust.

The main problem with setting up a system like this is one of enactment. How, for instance, do you get a vote in support of such an open system from a legislator or group of legislators who benefit, either personally or professionally, from the closed system they've established for themselves? Throw in a sense of institutional entitlement, and suddenly all you have is a proposal that isn't going to go very far, with a lot of lip service and no action, absent the compelling leadership needed to bring it about.

Without that leadership, the Congress will simply keep plodding along its current corruption-tolerant path. Consider the Cunningham (R-CA) case. Here, one of the things that surprised me is that he offered a volume discount for his bribes. Want a $16 million contract? Pay $140,000! Want a $20 million contract? Pay an additional $50,000 for each million over the first $16 million. $25 million? Sure, just pay an additional $25,000 for each million over the $20 million bracket!

This is the kind of pricing strategy that only evolves in a competitive market - one where the "client" has the option of taking their "business" elsewhere. What we know so far about the Jefferson (D-LA) and Mollohan (D-WV) cases would seem to confirm that there is a healthy marketplace for this kind of activity. And the recent joint statement of party leaders Denny Hastert (R-IL) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), would seem to indicate they want to sustain the status quo by circumventing the public's right of discovery. And they will, up until new leadership makes their position in support of the status quo untenable.

Fixing corruption takes compelling leadership. 2008 Presidential aspirants should be taking note. This is a "hygiene" issue. Either you have it, or you don't.

Note: This post was expanded from a comment left behind at Captain's Quarters!

About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts

Stock Charts and News

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button


The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links

Useful Election Data
Charities We Support
Shopping Guides
Recommended Reading
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified

Legal Disclaimer

Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.