Corruption plagues the public sector as well as the private sector. It knows no boundaries, nor does it pull any punches. Even though only a select few people could be positioned in a way where they could be involved in corruption, its effects are widespread and affect many people.
This is especially true in the case of our government officials. Reports of our “public servants” committing various acts of corruption are commonly the top news stories.
When these stories break, it is usually an official caught or discovered taking bribes or embezzling money.
Yet, not everyone partakes in corruption for the money. Some of the potential “rewards” transcend financial gain. Many politicians become corrupt in search of power.
There are several less obvious forms of corruption that many sleazy politicians use in their tireless search for power. Two of the more subtle types of corruption are nepotism and patronage.
Nepotism – The Enemy of Fairness and Democracy
One such form of corruption is nepotism. Nepotism is the practice of giving individuals or groups of individuals jobs, promotions, or even raises based on the fact that they are related.
This practice is alive and well throughout state and local governments. Just last week, June 9th, the Associated Press reported that city officials in the small town of Vernon, CA, “hired or awarded lucrative business contracts to at least a dozen family members.”
These family members were paid up to $60 an hour and billed as much as 70 hours a week on time sheets. This is not the only instance of corruption in the town of Vernon.
Systems of Patronage
Another type of subtle corruption that citizens should be aware of is known as “systems of patronage.” These systems consist of granting favors, contracts, or appointments to positions by a public office holder or candidate for a political office in return for political support.
These systems are alive and well. So much so, that a book was recently released on the subject of the patronage in modern government.
“Pinstripe Patronage: Political Favors from the Clubhouse to the White House and Beyond,” provides a modern-day look into an age-old system. In a review of the book, the Washington Posts contends:
“Patronage still prevails as part of the American system of politics: in contracts, judicial selection, and it still plays a large part in the quality of our public officials.”
Often times, these forms of corruption are much harder to detect. So, it is up to the American public to perform their due diligence when electing officials.
If someone has a track record of corruption, it is very likely that they will be involved in corruption in the future. Many people may argue that the many types of corruption are just a part of politics.
It always has been and always will be, so long as money and power are on the table. However, isn’t it high time that these “public servants” start serving the public, instead of themselves?Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com