Anthony F. Scarpelli
Applied Criminal Justice Ethics
Unit 2 Critical Analysis Essay
May 1, 2011
Public corruption involves a breach of public trust and/or abuse of position by federal, state, or local officials and their private sector accomplices. By broad definition, a government official, whether elected, appointed or hired, may violate federal law when he/she asks for, demands, solicits, accepts, or agrees to receive anything of value in return for being influenced in their performance of their official duties( Myint, 2006). The majority of public corruption cases fall into one of five categories: legislative, judicial, regulatory, contractual, and law enforcement. Legislative corruption and judicial corruption deals with influence of legislators and judges. Regulatory corruption deals with government investigators, such as those looking into the corporate scandals of the past few years. Contractual corruption is illegal forms of persuasion connected to the distribution of government contracts. Law enforcement corruption refers to any improper attempt to sway officers of the law. Examples of corrupt behavior would include: bribery, extortion, fraud, embezzlement, nepotism, cronyism, appropriation of public assets and property for private use, and influence peddling. Corrupt behavior activities such as fraud and embezzlement can be undertaken by an official alone and without involvement of a second party. While others such as bribery, extortion and influence peddling involve two parties, the giver and taker in a corrupt deal. “Corruption is a Western concept and is not applicable to traditional societies, where corruption does not have such a negative meaning. Many traditional societies with a “gift culture” have a different understanding of civil responsibilities and etiquette. The social structure and political traditions of many countries are based on the beneficial exchange of rewards for services rendered, and cannot survive in its absence.”(idebate.org). Do you agree with any part of this claim? If so which parts? If not, why not? I agree with this claim because public corruption is generally viewed as an obstacle in the development of a country. Many governments, international organizations and aid agencies have special agendas and rules and regulations that are enacted to fight the problem. In countries with very high levels of corruption is it very pervasive, it has to have some beneficial rewards. While definitely not something to be proud of, public corruption can be seen as an unavoidable side effect of development. Corruption reduces bureaucracy and speeds the implementation of administrative practices governing economic forces of the market. Corrupt public officials sometimes acquire incentives to help create a developmental friendly system for the economy. Corruption often starts a chain that can benefit all the economic players that are involved in the game, making sure that the over regulated and obstructive bureaucracies are much more efficient. In many countries corruption can be seen as a natural response to shortages. Often in developing countries the demand for a service such as access to the courts, education, healthcare, and the attention of civil servants and politicians far outweighs the ability of public officials to cope with the increased demands. To prevent the system from coming to a complete stop, a way to ration has to be found and corruption provides a way to decrease the demands on the system. It places a price on a service and enables officials to prioritize and go forward to deal with all the demands that have been placed on their time and resources. What do the readings say on the topic of corruption as cultural tradition? What counter- arguments do they make to the above assertion? Corruption is very bad for democracy as it can lead to the downfall of the state...
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