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Public corruption involves the violation of public trust that occurs when government officials participate in illegal activities such as collecting bribes, which influence the execution of their official duties.
As far as it is concerned, I would like to disagree with the assertion that corruption is a “Western concept and; therefore, not applicable to local societies where corruption is assumed to have lesser negative meaning than in western countries. Corruption is in itself a very negative aspect that impedes the economic growth of the affected country, or organization irrespective of the status of development. Several studies have been conducted on the influence of corruption among various nations, and the results have indicated that the negative aspects of corruption outweigh the purported benefits that are associated with the vice.
Myint asserts that in most scenarios, corruption is rampant in the developing and third world countries where their current development has not reached a level that can help them fight the vice. High levels of corruption in such societies are linked to the fact that employee salaries are remarkably low; hence, people tend to accept rewards so as to undertake or speed up tasks that are indeed legal. On one side, this may seem like a benefit of corruption because it helps to speed up economic development, while on the other, it leads to unfairness and inequitable distribution of resources. In fact, wealth remains in the hands of the rich and well-connected, while ordinary people survive in poverty. Hence, it becomes impossible to realize significant economic growth levels that would improve the country’s per capita income, as well as the ability to fight corruption. Based on such effect, I would mention that corruption is not acceptable in any economy as it hinders the smooth economic development of the society.
In several undeveloped countries, however, corruption has taken another dimension where it is considered a cultural tradition. Corruption as a cultural tradition is assumed to be part of their virtues and is not seen as a negative practice. Countries like China and Malaysia have been in a similar situation, but have since managed to fight corruption to minimal levels. As a result, their economies are now flourishing due to the high levels of growth and development. According to the readings, corruption is considered unethical regardless of an individual’s tradition. Myint for instance asserts that high levels of corruption slow down the economic growth of a country. Hence, creating a cultural tradition that supports corruption is insensitive because there is no actual evidence that corruption is needed, or at least beneficial in any tradition.
India and other societies have a common tradition that calls for gifts and rewards before someone can offer otherwise legal service. This is usually considered as a normal practice and severally termed as grease money, but the truth is that it is not beneficial for the economy. Where such activities are accepted, corrupt officials could take advantage of the tradition to accept large sums of money at the expense of the common man. Examples may include the awarding of government contracts to organizations that are willing to give large sums of money to such officials. When this happens, the effect moves on to the lowest individual; hence, a substantial amount of money would be lost in such dealings. Another effect of the gift-giving traditions is that there would be an inequitable distribution of resources and wealth in the society; at the same time, the economic growth of the country will be slowed down.
In conclusion, corruption is ethically unacceptable, and should not be encouraged so as to create a sound economic growth plan.
Delattre, E. J., & Bores, D. R. (2011). Character and Cops: Ethics in Policing (6th ed.). AEI Press.
U Myint. (2000). Corruption: Causes, consequences and cures. Asia-Pacific Development Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2.
Transparency International. (2012). Home. Web.