Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Corruption, Social Issues, Crime, White Collar Crime, Politics, Power, Countries, Public

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/01/11

According to Transparency International, corruption is abusing entrusted power for selfish gain. The definition captures the elements of corruption. One, that corruption mostly occurs in the private and public sectors, which involves the abuse of power held in a state institution or private organization. Secondly, that there are a bribe givers and bribe takers and the bribe giver always gains some advantage. Corruption is described as grand or petty. Grand corruption usually takes place at the senior management levels in business and the top levels of the public sphere. It often involves large amounts of money. Petty corruption is the everyday corruption that usually takes place on the implementation side of politics. It is found in the implementation of existing laws, abuse of power or the implementation of rules and regulations. There is no clear division of where grand corruption begins and where petty corruption begins (Transparency International).
The need to fight corruption comes from the alarming statistics of the number of people who suffer each year in different regions because of other peoples’ corrupt activities. According to Transparency International, corruption can grow in various political and economic environments. It, however, thrives in a place where the governance structures and processes are weak. In order for corruption to flourish, certain key pre-conditions are necessary. Corruption is facilitated if there is a set of incentives that encourage a person to engage in corrupt transactions. The temptation of corruption is increased if there are multiple opportunities for a person’s enrichment. There are some environments that are more conducive to corruption such as mineral and oil rich environments. The possibilities for corruption can be defined by the size and growth of public resources.
Corruption is also facilitated by control over and access to the means of corruption. Opportunity and incentive create the possibility of corruption, but there are actual ways of engaging in corruption. It may include money laundering techniques and control over certain administrative processes such as tendering. Limited risks of exposure and punishment is also a facilitator of corruption. Corruption tends to thrive in places with ineffective and inadequate controls.
There are various reasons why the transparency international and other individuals have come up with measures to fight corruption. First, corruption tends to undermine the government revenue, and that limits the ability of the government to invest in productive areas. The system in all countries works well if the taxpayer feel that there is a good chance for a future payoff. Corruption also distorts decision-making in relation to public investment projects. Most large capital projects usually create opportunities for corruption. Research has shown that in countries with high level of corruption, it is more likely that a hefty piece of its economic activity will go underground. Studies have also shown that corruption usually undermines foreign direct investments. Most investors prefer to establish themselves in less corrupt countries (Claros).
Corruption also contributes to the misallocation of human resources. Sustaining a corrupt system requires officials to invest time and effort in the development of certain skills and to nurture certain relationships. They as well invest in building a range of opaque systems and supporting institutions such as secret bank accounts and off-the-book transactions. Studies have shown that the more the incidence of corruption in a country, the more the time the management spend in avoiding penalties and maintaining the bribery system. All these activities are meant to draw attention and resources away from strategic planning and other productive activities.
Bribery and corruption lead to other forms of crime. Corruption breeds corruption, and this leads to the creation of mafias and other criminal groups that use their power to intimidate and create a climate of fear and uncertainty. In states with weak systems, the police are overwhelmed, and it reduces the probability of catching criminals. It encourages more people to be corrupt, undermining the economic growth and impairing the efficiency of law enforcement (Claros).
Corruption leads to disturbing distributional implications. Research shows that corruption worsens income distribution. Corruption tends to lower economic growth, which in turn increases income inequality. It distorts the tax systems in most countries since the wealthy and powerful can use their connections to make sure the tax system works in their favor. Corruption creates uncertainty. There are no enforceable property rights that come from a transaction involving bribery. For example, a firm that gets a deal from a bureaucrat as a result of bribery would not know with certainty how long it will last. The bribing party, having done something against the law may find himself a victim of extortion, which may be difficult to extricate himself. With such an uncertain environment and insecure property rights, an organization may not be willing to make long-term plans and investments. Their goal would be to maximize their short-term profits. Such uncertainty is responsible for the misrepresentation of incentives that prompt people to want to seek public office. In a place where corruption is widespread, politicians will want to remain in office as long as possible and not to serve the public because they do not want others to enjoy the monetary benefits of high office. Where staying in a high office for long is not an option, the officials may want to steal a lot in the quickest time since they have a short window of opportunity.
Corruption is a betrayal of trust, and it reduces the legitimacy of the state and moral stature of bureaucracy in the eyes of the population. Even though, most governments make efforts to have the corrupt transactions in secrecy at times the relevant details leak out and tarnish the government’s reputation. Such cases damage a government’s credibility, and it limits its ability to become a constructive agent of change. The corrupt governments usually have a tougher time being credible enforcers of contracts and protectors of property rights (Claros).
According to Claros, there is no limit to the extent to which corruption can undermine the stability of the state and an organized society. Taxpayers will extort businesses, money will disappear into offshore bank accounts of senior officials and the head of state may even demand that particular taxes be credited to his personal account. Investments might come to a standstill or disinvestments might occur. In countries where corruption is intertwined with domestic politics, separate centers of power might emerge to rival the power of the state. At such a point, the government might not be able to do anything to control corruption.
States may opt for warfare in order to preserve their power engulfing a country in a cycle of violence. In most cases corrupt failed states become a security threat to the entire international community because they are incubators of terrorism, human trafficking, money laundering and other global crimes (Claros).
Corruption is a major reason for economic instability in most countries. It is hard to control other people’s greed, but efforts can be made to show them other people’s distress arising from their actions. The process of fighting corruption requires everyone to be engaged, from the top government officials to the taxpayers. For all citizens to access the same opportunities, we must start by eliminating corrupt officials. Such people are only in power to help themselves and not to serve the public. Corruption has been a major issue for centuries and in order for our countries to develop, we cannot overlook it any longer.

Works Cited

Claros, Augusto L. Nine Reasons why Corruption is a Destroyer of Human Prosperity. World Bank Group, 31 March 2014. Web. 3 April 2015. Retrieved from http://blogs.worldbank.org/futuredevelopment/nine-reasons-why-corruption-destroyer-human-prosperity
Transparency International. 2015. Web. 3 April 2015. Retrieved from http://www.transparency.org/

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WePapers. (2021, January, 11) Transparency Essay Example. Retrieved March 04, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/transparency-essay-example/
"Transparency Essay Example." WePapers, 11 Jan. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/transparency-essay-example/. Accessed 04 March 2021.
WePapers. 2021. Transparency Essay Example., viewed March 04 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/transparency-essay-example/>
WePapers. Transparency Essay Example. [Internet]. January 2021. [Accessed March 04, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/transparency-essay-example/
"Transparency Essay Example." WePapers, Jan 11, 2021. Accessed March 04, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/transparency-essay-example/
WePapers. 2021. "Transparency Essay Example." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved March 04, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/transparency-essay-example/).
"Transparency Essay Example," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 11-Jan-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/transparency-essay-example/. [Accessed: 04-Mar-2021].
Transparency Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/transparency-essay-example/. Published Jan 11, 2021. Accessed March 04, 2021.
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