Combatting corruption
Corruption threatens freedom and economic growth around the world

Article Highlights

  • Corruption is not a single event, but a continuum, perpetrated by crooked politicians in positions of power.

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  • During the Cold War, neither the Soviets nor the Americans cared about the corruption of dictators they supported.

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  • Increased oversight of business has caused onerous regulations, which encourage manipulation by rent-seeking.

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"Corruption is not a single event, but a continuum, perpetrated day in and day out against citizens by crooked politicians and civil servants who enjoy positions of power." -Frank Vogl

Frank Vogl has spent more than half his life exposing and fighting corruption — first as a journalist, then with the World Bank, and finally with Transparency International, which he cofounded. His book about his experiences, Waging War on Corruption, does not disappoint.

The book is a history of both those who have fought corruption — the dangers they faced and the obstacles they overcame — and of the people exposed. From Watergate to the Arab Spring, Vogl was either directly writing about or otherwise exposing the corruption involved.

Vogl explains the problem thus:

Corruption is not a single event, but a continuum, perpetrated day in and day out against citizens by crooked politicians and civil servants who enjoy positions of power. They can be heads of state who demand a payoff of millions of dollars on major government contracts. Or they can be lowly civil servants in small towns who have the power to grant building permits or allow access for children to schools or reserve hospital beds, and who use such powers to extort cash payments from poor people.

The full text of this article is available on The American website. 

Roger Bate is the Legatum Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

 

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