In 2001, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranked the United States as the 16th least-corrupt country. By last year, the nation had fallen to 24th place. The World Bank also reports a weakening of corruption controls in the United States since the late 1990s, so that it is falling behind most other developed nations.
Whether or not your government works effectively is probably more important than the wisdom or lack thereof of any stated policy. As I wrote yesterday this is the biggest weakness in the philosophy of profit-maximization and shareholder value. A well-functioning market economy in many ways depends on a normative superstructure that's eroded by the ethic of money-making by any means necessary. When firm managers believe it is not only permissable but obligatory to engage in fraudulent and corrupt practices and to exert time and energy into rent-seeking, you ultimately destroy the background conditions of prosperity.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.