Re: [OPE-L] Global corruption barometer 2007...

From: GERALD LEVY (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sat Dec 08 2007 - 13:46:11 EST

Hi Jurriaan:
Interesting site.  I looked around there a bit, including the 'FAQ", out
of curiosity to see if there were answers to the questions that came 
to mind concerning _who_ paid the bribes (especially which  _classes_)
and in what _amounts_.  The methodology utilized - that of a public 
opinion poll - might underestimate the extent to which capitalists pay
bribes rather than primarily the poor.  Families would certainly be
knowledgeable if they paid bribes, but might not be as knowledgeable 
about how common the practice is in groups to which they do not 
Some musings ...
I suppose, conceptually, one could treat bribes paid by capitalists
as capitalists as faux frais of production. How would one treat bribes
paid by wage workers and the non-working poor?  It might be
tempting to think of it representing a reduction of the customary 
standard of living  of workers but what if paying the bribes results in 
a  _higher_ standard of living?  In that case, value might be going from 
working families to state employees and then be transferred back again 
by the state to the working families?  Perhaps 'bribes' is the wrong word 
to use here - maybe 'extortion' would be a better one: 'extortion' of 
working families by e.g. the police might not result in _any_ benefit other
than a ceasing of harassment, malicious prosecution and imprisonment,
etc.  If that's the case, then one might be better thinking of this 
corruption as a form of organized crime (in many cases, the police could
be thought of as a criminal gang).
In solidarity, Jerry

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