The venal corruption of the political class

Corruption runs riot in the political classes in the U.S. (and Britain and the wider West too). They think it’s normal, and that they’ll get away with it. So far they have every reason to be confident. So far… But the more people know, the more it will change

In the past week, I’ve written two columns (here and here) extolling the benefits of federalism. So I now feel compelled to warn that my support for decentralization is not motivated by some Pollyannish view of sub-national governments.

State and local government officials are perfectly capable of adopting policies that lead to the absurd waste of taxpayer money and grotesque abuse of citizens.

And they also are just as proficient at sleaze as their cousins in Washington.

Politico has a sobering report on pervasive state-level corruption. They start with a rundown of what’s been happening with the criminal class in the Empire State.

  • Shebel

    What is with this mesmerizing with USA corruption? We already know that in Canada. We also know that politics in PQ is pretty much controlled by the Mob.
    Cap and Trade is a virtual gold mine for crooks.
    Goddamn it. You may as well laugh or cry or just go to bed and hope that it is all just a nightmare.

  • Xavier

    Public hangings would be an effective deterrent.

  • Justin St.Denis

    I have to agree with Shebel. I live in one of Ontario’s “fastest growing” communities, complete with casino dollars. The last round of municipal elections left the town with a town council of nine, seven of whom all work for the same company. That company happens to be the municipality’s largest employer. To boot, that company bids on many municipal infrastructure projects.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Local government is about two things: petty power and revenue.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    A favorite saying of the American political chattering classes is “All politics is local.” In other words, the rot rises from the ground up.