Tag Archives: Obtaining income through the government – rent seeking – corruption

Various terms have been used to describe obtaining income through the government that does not provide a good or service.  One of them is corruption.  This typically refers to acts that people consider corrupt, such as government officials taking government money that is not theirs.  People or firms not in the government can also obtain favorable treatment from the government.  Taxes can be avoided, for example.  This is sometimes called corruption and sometimes not.  Rent-seeking is a more neutral term used by standard economics.

Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 shows anti-corruption efforts stalled in most countries

Transparency International January 29, 2019

The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released today by Transparency International reveals that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis of democracy around the world.

“With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe – often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies – we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens’ rights,” said Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International. “Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption.”

The 2018 CPI draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). To view the results, visit: www.transparency.org/cpi2018   

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Photo: Dollar bills. Credit Kim Dombrowski

The power that the dollar brings to U.S. foreign policy

This outstanding article shows how the need to use dollars in international trade and finance gives the United States great foreign policy power. European countries, for example, do not agree with the U.S. policy of sanctioning Iran, but are forced to go along, so as not to lose access to U.S financial and other markets. Venezuela owns CITGO, but sanctions are preventing it from receiving money from CITGO’s sale of oil to the United States, Venezuela’s major source of money for imports.

The dollar is still king. How (in the world) did that happen? Peter S. Goodman New York Times February 22, 2019

Photo: Dollar bills. Credit Kim Dombrowski

Cover of Moneyland by Oliver Bullogh

Moneyland by Oliver Bullogh

Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Now Rule the World and How to Take It Back – review Tim Adams The Guardian September 9, 2018
Oliver Bullough follows the trail of the filthy rich in this compelling, though not hopeful, study of global wealth and corruption.