What is the Permissable Amount of Corruption?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by JimBowie1958, May 6, 2012.

?

What is the level of tolerable corruption?

Poll closed May 13, 2012.
  1. Corruption that has absolutely no harm to the general public is OK

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Corruption that serves the greatest good is OK

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. Coruption that serves the reasonable interests of a politician and his patrons is OK

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Corruption that can evade legal punishment is OK (smaller in scale, more restrained).

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. CCorrupt practices such as accepting gifts is OK if not too big.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. No level of corruption should ever be tolerated.

    4 vote(s)
    80.0%
  7. there should be no laws against corruption. Why instiute hypocrisy?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. dunno

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. JimBowie1958
    Offline

    JimBowie1958 Old Fogey

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    39,343
    Thanks Received:
    5,506
    Trophy Points:
    1,170
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Ratings:
    +21,476
    Corruption is a grey scale quality that is not simply black and white in nature.

    All politicians, all statesmen, all rulers of various nations/empires/leagues have some degree of curruption. Even George Washington had some plausible ulterior motives to the revolt he led in that he was in debt to a great many English bankers.

    So do we throw out the very notion of government for fear that no matter what we do with it it will eventually come to ravage our homes, families and communities?

    Or is there some tolerable level of 'corruption' that is not only permissable but even beneficial to society and the nation?

    Since the state is by nature predisposed to coruption since it is composed of corruptable mankind, the first principle to maintaining low levels of corruption would be to minimise the governments role in our lives as much as is practical. There are necesary roles for a gaovernment that a nation sufferes from if they are absent effective government, as our Founding Fathers discovered with the Articles of Confederation, and then set up our current Constitutional Republic.

    Secondly the principle of subsidiarity would keep the level of government activity down to the lowest level of control possible, and the more local a government is the quicker people normally are to keeping it from being overly rapacious.

    Thirdly, the question of what exactly corruption is needs to considered. Philosophers have said that a good thing done is more virtuous if it is done for no personal gain, and that may be true, but that does not go to say that a good thing done for personal gain is evil or wrong.

    In a practical matter we cannot expect our politicians to handle the considerable power that they do and derive no personal gain from it. That would require Saints, not normal men, and politicians are nothing if not normal or worse when it comes to their public morality.

    So what is the difference between an acceptable form of personal benefit pursued by our political class and that which is not acceptable?

    If the so-called corruption is beneficial to the public in whole or largest part with no direct harm to anyone, then why should we prevent it much less punish it? If a Senator puts an earmark into a bill that would have an interstate built near some property he owns but this interstate would bring commerce and jobs to several counties, then far more benefit from it than only the Senator, so why would we punish him for such a thing? Why should we punish our politicians when they do good simply because it is not wholey virtuous?

    On the contrary, to proscribe such things is to give more power to a vindictive and more corrupt leadership who can then use overly tightened rules to purge from their ranks those that they consider troublesome or maybe even to eager to defend the public interest in general.

    So I am wondering what others think on this topic.

    What is the level of tolerable corruption? I put five broad assertions here that I think are plausible responses.

    Not only
     
  2. Sunshine
    Offline

    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    19,377
    Thanks Received:
    3,036
    Trophy Points:
    183
    Ratings:
    +3,045
    There is no permissible amount of corruption. It will always happen, though, given the amounts of money that passes through hands in a large country like the US. Once soeone is caught they have hell to pay, but there are many who don't get caught, and many who continue with impunity while another is being pulled through the knothole over what he/she did, knowing that the attention is focused elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  3. JimBowie1958
    Offline

    JimBowie1958 Old Fogey

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    39,343
    Thanks Received:
    5,506
    Trophy Points:
    1,170
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Ratings:
    +21,476
    Other than your assertion that no corruption is permissable, I agree with what you say mostly.

    But what about the example I gave of a Senator who benefits from an earmark he gets passed, but tens of thousands of others also benefit as well? Is he not also corrupt? IS this not a tolerable behavior since it benefits many more people than just himself and harms no one else?

    And besides that, what of the costs? The prosecution of John Edwards is comical. The guy cheated on his wife and did some questionable things with his campaign funds that amount to about $1 million. But how much more has the the tax payer lost in the legal costs to prosecute him for what is essentially technical trivial violations of deliberately Byzantine laws?

    To say no leve is permissable seems to be counter-productive to the public good and gives the leadership of our government too much power to purge themselves of troublesome populists, etc. There is no one in our government today who can not be indicted for something if they piss off the Powers That Be.

    Are tax payers better served by handing so much power into the hands of the government leaders?

    The Edwards case is again illustrative as I feel quite cirtain that the DOJ lawyers going after Edwards have far more questionable practices like how they abused contracting companies int he Inslaw scandal.
    Inslaw - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    totse.com | The Inslaw Scandal - the Department of Justice Gets Caught Stealing

    Who watches the watchers? How are we supposed to feel any more comfortable knowing that crime committed BY government officials will not go punished if it is done by those within the DOJ, like Holders obstruction of the Fast and Furious investigations?

    Frankly, I would take Edwards corruption any day over that of the DoJ.
     
  4. Sunshine
    Offline

    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    19,377
    Thanks Received:
    3,036
    Trophy Points:
    183
    Ratings:
    +3,045
    Well they don't teach Civics in school any longer. But when I was in school 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' is just part of the process. We vote them there to look out for interests.

    Diverting huge sums of money to feather your one nest is not. And is therefore corruption. This goes on every day.
     
  5. rdean
    Offline

    rdean rddean

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    60,146
    Thanks Received:
    6,896
    Trophy Points:
    1,840
    Location:
    chicago
    Ratings:
    +14,986
    Ask the GOP. They're the experts. Bush proved that.
     
  6. AVG-JOE
    Offline

    AVG-JOE American Mutt Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    22,888
    Thanks Received:
    4,882
    Trophy Points:
    260
    Location:
    Your Imagination
    Ratings:
    +7,017
    Corruption through complexity and confusion is the way it's done in America - that way it remains 'legal', whatever that means.

    Fair and simple taxes, public budgets that are balanced by law, transparency in all things politics and then build an economy your kids can drive to the stars.

    It ain't rocket science. :smoke:
     
  7. richard2012
    Offline

    richard2012 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    houston
    Ratings:
    +1
    The corruption exceeds a tolerance of people someone comes up form some where, fights against corruption and brings it permissible levels. Excessive-Non permissible limits of corruption. We cannot fight with corruption unless the word 'corruption' is defined in such a way that we can deal with. We cannot fight with an issue which is not defined first.
     
  8. FA_Q2
    Offline

    FA_Q2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    14,312
    Thanks Received:
    2,087
    Trophy Points:
    255
    Location:
    Washington State
    Ratings:
    +4,319
    That is not corruption. Corruption of politicians is not benefiting from an act. It is doing the act because it benefits you. If said politician passes a law that he benefits as a citizen of that area then all is good, he is doing what he is suppose to. If he passes a law that benefits him because of the position he is in then that is corruption.

    Byzantine laws? He stole money, plain and simple. People gave money that he promised would be used to campaign and then he use it for other purposes. That is steeling and should be punished. I really don't care what the cost of the prosecution is. Should we stop prosecuting murderers because the cost? No, that is asinine.
     

Share This Page