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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/3878/trickle-down-for-the-state/

Trickle-Down for the State

July 25, 2005 by

According to this article in the Guardian, the average amount of bribes in Russia has risen 700% over a recent period in which prices in general have risen 70%. Furthermore, fewer bribes are being paid, so it may not be said, actually, that corruption is spreading (perhaps it is “rising”).

It seems that shakedown artists are more-narrowly targeting the (newly?) prosperous for bribes, even while not soliciting a growing proportion of the population who would seem to be unable to pay a worthwhile amount. Is this an undeniable sign of spreading (or rising?) prosperity in Russia, highlighted by the huge and intrusive state apparatus endemic there?

As the state apparatus in places outside Russia where prosperity is increasing grows more huge and intrusive, may we eventually see a similar trend in bribery in those places? If we do, I’m confident of one place where it will not be reported: The Statistical Abstract of the United States.

Thanks to In Brief of the Foundation for Economic Education (www.fee.org) for calling my attention to this article.

{ 1 comment }

Bill R. July 26, 2005 at 8:36 am

“One study has estimated that about 10% of Russia’s millionaires are bureaucrats.”

I wonder what percentage of America’s millionaires are either bureaucrats or elected officials …

“President Putin admitted the scale of the problem in a recent speech, calling bureaucrats a “closed and sometimes simply arrogant caste that sees state service as a kind of business”.”

And that is different from bureaucrats anywhere else?

The majority of those who say they “haven’t been touched by corruption” are walking around with their eyes closed.

Every city and town in America has something going on, from who gets the towing contracts for abandoned cars to how you get a permit for a new subdivision. But the people who live in the new subdivision, having paid each their portion of the bribes in the costs of their new homes, say “I haven’t been touched by corruption.”

Those in TX who haven’t seen a property tax relief bill this session, have seen that pharmacies get property tax relief – as a result of paid lobbyist’s work in Austin. Yet most workers at the pharmacies, the people getting their prescriptions filled, they get the better of the deal and still don’t realize they have been “touched by corruption.”

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