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the stream

Derek Lowe - Thoughts on Corruption

Alexander Bochmann Saturday 04 of February, 2017
Here: http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2017/02/03/thoughts-on-corruption

I think that there are, broadly speaking, three levels of corruption, and that they can be ranked in order of severity and destructiveness to the social order. [..]

Level One is when you’re paying someone to do something that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. [..] This sort of thing happens everywhere, and I’m willing to stipulate that it’s human nature. [..]

Level Two corruption, though, is when you’re paying someone to do what they’re supposed to be doing in the first place. [..] Now you’re bribing people just to stay even, not to get something extra. The deadweight loss to the economy and to society should be clear. [..]

And that shades into Level Three, which is the most harmful of them all. This is where you’re paying them not to hurt you. [..] Now you’re not getting favors, and you’re not even just getting what the law or the contract says you should get. You’re actively trying to avoid harm, and thus you exist at the sufferance of whoever has the leverage on you.