Sun | Nov 28, 2021

How to end corruption

Published:Wednesday | December 30, 2020 | 12:16 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Corruption has been a major problem in our development and it has been a recurring one – from Trafigura to PetroJam, to FINSAC to CMU, and the like. It seems as if there’s no way to end corruption, especially given that diehard supporters of both political parties always try to defend their actions, which goes beyond reasoning.

But there are ways to reduce or end corruption.

It would call for a reduction in state power and the selling and privatisation of all ‘state assets’ owned by the government.

First off, given that a business runs on profit and any mismanagement would wipe out a business, the owners would be very cautious about its operations.

These state-run entities get our taxpayer dollars, and seem to have no accountability and desire to be more efficient and accountable. Who would be more afraid to embezzle money – a businessman who knows his business would die, or a state-entity bureaucrat who is always guaranteed our tax dollars every time the budget is announced?

Furthermore, reducing government power could also reduce the number of bribes and lobbying from special interests.

TAKE AWAY POWER

Adam Smith, the Scottish economist who wrote the ‘Wealth of Nations’, noted that special monopoly interests always seek an advantage at the expense of other special interests and the public at large, and the government is the co-conspirator in it, as it has the power to grant them privileges. With lessened power in the hands of the government, no ‘special interest groups’ would see the need to bribe a powerless bureaucrat.

Additionally, the less power and ‘state assets’ in the government’s hands, the less embezzlement will take place. The incentives for corruption would dwindle once the opportunities for corruption dwindle. No politician would be a ‘kleptocrat’ (and dictator) if there isn’t anything to take, and if he has no power to take anything.

MARCUS WHITE