It seems to me, there is nothing more destructive of a nation’s economy and standard of living, than corruption in government. This is obvious but also can be proven simply through observation. Corrupt public officials corrode the foundation of an economy in a myriad of ways just like acid corrodes metal. That so many countries have such profound corruption, is a statement to the corruptibility of those with power, who are essentially unsupervised. We allow this to go on out of a sense of powerlessness, but if we want a better life for our children and their children, we must act against corruption.
Simple observation shows the truth that corruption is destructive of a nation’s economy. One example should suffice to make the example, but examples exist the world over and throughout time, in this Mexico is not the most corrupt nor the only corrupt nation today, it is merely the example I am using. Despite many advantages most other nations don’t have, Mexico is the poster child for poverty… and corruption. Pharmacists are often in cahoots with the police. When an old couple from the US go to Mexico to buy cheap prescription drugs, many Mexican pharmacists call the police, who then arrest the old couple and hold them for ransom. The pharmacists gets his kickback and the drugs back to continue the scam on another unsuspecting old American couple.
If someone is pulled over in Mexico it is insulting to the officer not to be offered a bribe. If the bribe is too low the victim can be jailed. The court system is known for its corruption, where a person with power gets a get out of jail free card, while everyone else gets severe punishment. Permits and licenses must be purchased with bribes. Even the jails are crooked. There are stories of drug cartel members allowed to go out at night to commit murders, even with the guard’s own guns! Today there are Americans who accidentally got to the Mexican boarder, who wanted to simply turn around, but were arrested and sent to jail! The list of the debasement of the Mexican authorities is endless.
All the corruption in Mexico results in poverty and want. In a system where justice is arbitrary and dependent on political favor the market cannot function efficiently. In a place where anyone who gets ahead is subject to kidnapping, any where and anytime, with the police turning a blind eye, producers are driven away to places safe for their families. In Mexico and anywhere government can be counted on to do the wrong thing the incentives are all pernicious.
Those who operate virtuously are punished while those who are despicable are rewarded. All the incentives drive more corruption. Judges who punish purchasable police are murdered and politicians who speak up are killed. Anyone who tries to stop the corruption is slaughtered and their heads rolled into a dance as an example to anyone else who would speak up. The results speak for themselves… Mexico and all other profoundly corrupt nations nurture poverty.
The constant threat of murder, kidnappings and worse subjugate the people to a sense of powerlessness. This is magnified when the people are disarmed so the corrupt have superiority of firepower. The tainted have no fear their next victim will shoot back, the police have seen to it they can’t, while providing weapons to the despicable. Just like Obama did in Fast and Furious. The people must simply try to hunker down and stay off the radar. This includes not getting ahead because that would put you in the sights of the criminals.
The level of corruption we see in Mexico often leads to a socialist government taking control. Typically resulting in more corruption but at a higher level and less susceptible to scrutiny. This is the case in Venezuela. The lot of the people goes down even more because the corruption becomes sanctified by the State. In such a system revolution is out, because the State will use whatever force it needs to stay in power, and the elite around the world will turn a blind eye to it… as they have done in Venezuela.
I have outlined a means to stymie government corruption, a Fourth Branch, or in other words, a Constitutional police of government. If one were set up in such a corrupt country as Mexico, there would be a civil war between the entrenched criminals and the new branch, but with the backing of the people a Fourth Branch could get the corruption under control. The only other option is total collapse of the government and system resulting in societal upheaval and eventually revolution. The people are caught in a trap of the criminal governor’s making. They can die by drive by shooting or die by firing squad. Not good options, a Fourth Branch is at least a possible way out… if they were to take it.