Free Markets, Free People

Accountability? Not requiring it or enforcing it leads to corruption

It really is that simple. And you don’t need a PhD to figure that out. It is a “Human Nature 101” course. If there’s no incentive for you to behave correctly and every incentive not to (i.e. no punishment), then why behave correctly?

Now, consider the government we have today and all the various scandals. Who is the last person who blatantly violated the public trust that you’ve seen frog-marched to jail? Hmmm. But it takes a bunch of academics to again remind us that human nature still rules:

In a new study, Stern School of Business assistant professor of economics Vasiliki Skreta and co-authors, Karthik Reddy of Harvard Law School and Moritz Schularick of the University of Bonn, examine statutory immunity provisions that obstruct or limit the criminal liability of politicians, and which exist throughout much of the modern democratic world.

…The researchers quantified the strength of immunity protection in 74 democracies and verified that immunity is strongly associated with corruption on an aggregate level. They also developed a theoretical model that demonstrated how stronger immunity protection can lead to higher corruption. The model suggested that unaccountable politicians under immunity protection can enhance their chance of re-election by using illegal means, namely supporting interest groups through lax law enforcement, non-collection of taxes, and other forms of favoritism that will go unpunished.

Where’s Charley Rangel? Chris Dodd? Barney Frank? Oh, enjoying retirement. Turbo Tax Tim Geithner? Well, not in jail.

And how about Lois Lerner? From what does she want immunity? Well in reality, she wants immunity from accountability.  There’s no other reason to seek immunity otherwise.

Unfortunately, she’ll probably get it and we’ll watch the level of corruption within government continue to grow, and grow and grow.

You want to know why people don’t trust government?

That’s why.


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8 Responses to Accountability? Not requiring it or enforcing it leads to corruption

  • Well one begets the other.  Corruption is going to push to have immunity measures added or increased.  The problem is at some point they’ve been let away with it.

  • Well DUH!!!

  • The administration and its supporters devoutly believe that the federal government should regulate every aspect of everything. They are rapidly turning the federal code into a nightmare straight out of the Soviet GOSPLAN.

    Well, if you combine pervasive regulation of everything with the arbitrary power to suspend whatever law you like, what you get at the end of the day is arbitrary power to say what the law is. So, a tax on everyone’s income, minus the president’s suspension of the tax on people he likes, becomes simply a tax on whomever he doesn’t like. That’s just a dictatorship.

    Yes. It is a dictatorship.
    Wake up, America.

  • I see the House moving for impeachment if the President doesn’t “faithfully execute the laws”.
    For now, we merely have the “intention” to not execute.

    • Now now, it’s not Obama not executing the lawys you know, it’s those people he ordered to do it down below him that did what they were told…..THEY’RE the guilty ones.
      Besides we know we’re all wrong because……RACISTS!