Is corruption Here to Stay?

A question was asked of 1,200 readers of a South American Newspaper between September and October (2022) recently asking, “to what extent do you consider that offering bribes, payments in money or favors, will expedite the procedures with government agencies”? Of those asked this question, some 44% of the survey gave an affirmative answer. A specialist in finance who wished anonymity, said these results were due to the deteriorating governmental management throughout Latin-Central-Caribbean and Mexican Regions. While the survey was carried out by phone, it was noticed that many respondents showed high levels of stress and fear, perhaps showing that the 44% was actually lower than the actual percentage. The Pandemic has made it easier to hide illegal operations and offer malcontents opportunities of fraud, theft and misdirection.

Economists and Law Enforcement Officials have pointed out the other side of this coin of corruption. The reason bribery is done is because it is the only way to speed up the procedures in the snail like moving governmental apparatus. This is also implying that bribery fuels corruption at all levels of government. In September 2022 the World Bank reported that improving Government Effectiveness and Transparency will fight corruption within the public sector, while admitting that within many societies corrupt behavior is deeply rooted historically, economically and within their political cultures. Ultimately there is a very strong relationship between Power, Politics and Money.

The health, property management and maritime ports sectors are the three main sectors where corruption has significant sway, The health sector is plagued by widespread corruption, while human development can suffer. A person can wait for toilet paper or pay someone for a roll. Need a quick surgery to save a loved one? Pay the medical administrator, nurses and doctors for an immediate response. Corruption in Land administration can undermine land reform and citizens trust in the government as a whole. Corrupt Officials allow the illegal encroachment of land speculators upon Aboriginal and Poverty-stricken lands. Corruption in maritime ports directly effects trade, and the investment climate in countries while also effecting the prices of imported products. How do smugglers of illegal products and human smuggling get away with it? They pay off some public official. By the way, Mexico was placed at the top place of respondents to bribing public officials, with a 68% positive response.

The Frist world also experiences this pandemic of corruption, but it is hidden, less openly accessible to the public. Local government officials making small salaries can be approached by Land Developers looking for a favor or two. One hand washes the other. Ever ask yourself how a public official can start their public career being worth say $400,000, and after ten years of public service, leaves office a multi-millionaire?

Power, Politics and Money. The very mix that keeps a few at elite status, while the rest of us working stiffs carry on living. Fear of loss is often the tool that builds corruption actions. Fear of loss of anything, like your money, land, family member, prestige and health can cause you to react in the negative, and do the unexpected, like bribe another to get what you want and need. John Steinbeck wrote “Power does not corrupt, Fear corrupts…perhaps the fear of a loss of power”. 

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