Let the briber giver go scot free, punish the bribe taker. Could this simple model from India’s chief economic adviser and brilliant economist Kaushik Basu end one sort of corruption — harassment bribery? I tend to agree. The simplicity of this solution goes under the skin of its creation, under laws
that were created to encourage petty corruption and protect incumbent bureaucrats, officials and politicians.
At a moral level, there is no denying that a person who pays a bribe is as guilty of the crime as one who receives it. But does the person entitled to a tax refund, for instance, really have a choice in not bribing the official there? In ‘We the extorted’, From a story wrote in December 2010, I learnt that 85% of all reports on ipaidabribe.com said they had to bribe to get a routine job done. Its programme coordinator TR Raghunandan said “10% were asked to pay a bribe but didn’t, and only 5% faced honest government officials.”
Lawmakers have invented all kinds of weapons with which to harass honest citizens. So complex have these missiles become that I often wonder whether I’ve broken some law, by-law, rule, sub-rule, regulation, sub-clause, in the simplest act of thinking, writing, breathing. With harassment power concentrated in the hands of the few, how can a single citizen even think of fighting the system?
The incentive system encourages corruption. A powerful official can demand a bribe and get away with it only because once the bribe is given the giver of the bribe is guilty of the same crime. The interests of the two get aligned. The citizen gets his entitlement with a small bribery tax — better to get 75% of the entitlement rather than nothing at all. The official gets a commission to ensure the job gets done on time — it will have to be done in any case, why not speed up the process and buy that flat screen TV the family has been asking for? Win-win.
By changing the... [continues]
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(2011, 04). Corruption. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Corruption-675158.html
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"Corruption." StudyMode.com. 04, 2011. Accessed 04, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Corruption-675158.html.