Against Corruption

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This is an interesting book to read, because of the differences among the authors.  They were able to discuss corruption from different cultural, educational, and economic backgrounds/viewpoints.

Here are a few of the main points:

  • Corruption hurts life outcomes in a variety of ways.  Economically, it diverts resources away from their most productive uses and acts like a regressive tax that supports the lifestyles of the elites at the expense of everyone else.
  • Corruption incentives the best and brightest to spend their time gaming the system, rather than innovating or creating new wealth.
  • As the difficulties and risk of corrupt behavior rise, fewer people will behave corruptly.
  • While auditing doesn’t sound like a glamorous nation-building activity, it is a critical part of ensuring that governments are spending public money responsibly and effectively.
  • Corruption is a cancer.  At first, it can look small and harmless.  Before you know it, it has taken over your entire body.  Likewise, the losses from corruption can start small, but in the end the damage is enormous.

Taxes

People often complain about paying taxes, as if they receive no benefit for their money.  However, that is not true.  Tax money benefits all of us.  It pays for:

  • Roadways
  • Public Education
  • Military
  • Police Force
  • Medical Research
  • Food Safety
  • Energy
  • Environmental Protection
  • Science Research
  • Fire Departments
  • Libraries

This list only contains a few of the benefits we all receive from our taxes.