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Re: "Theorem" of Corruption




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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
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     There was an IMF Working Paper on the subject of Corruption published 
     I guess about 18 months ago, perhaps someone can track it down or 
     request it from the IMF, though I myself felt that the paper did not 
     throw any substantial light on the subject.
     
     It appears to me that the degree of corruption in any country is a 
     function of three factors: (a) the standard of living of that country 
     relative to the pay received by government officials; (b) the 
     effectiveness of the police and judicial systems (which depend on 
     sound Constitutions and open government; and all these, in turn, 
     depend on the next factor); (c) the degree to which a strong sense of 
     ethics has been internalised by the people of a country.
     
     The IMF focused on the first factor alone, mentioning in passing that 
     it may not be need that drives people to graft but greed that tempts 
     them to it.  This is evident, in that most of the profits of 
     corruption do not go to the small babu, they go to the top dogs; and 
     this of course links directly with my third factor (above) regarding 
     the degree to which a culture succeeds in inculcating values.  
     
     In general, every traditional society had its own more or less strong 
     system of ethics.  However, industrialisation and modernisation break 
     down the social system on which "traditional" ethical systems depend.
     
     Among "modernised" societies, Protestant countries seem to have 
     succeeded best in inculcating a widespread sense of ethics though, 
     since the War, Japan and Communist China have also succeeded in this.  
     It is of course an open question whether and to what extent public 
     morality in such Protestant, Communist and neo-Capitalist countries 
     can survive the death of the respective ruling ideology.
     
     I come then to the effectiveness of the police and judicial systems 
     which must play a part in maintaining administrative transparency in 
     all cultures, because in any case no culture has succeeded in 
     guaranteeing that a hundred per cent of its citizens are a hundred per 
     cent moral (however, morality might be defined).  The issue here is 
     that the moral standards of police forces, sooner or later, rise or 
     fall to that of the general level of the populace.  That is where 
     sound Constitutions and democratic governments help in ensuring that 
     these three factors are optimised, (and this is why one must be 
     skeptical about current attempts in Communist China which apparently 
     focus on rooting out corruption but which may well be about other 
     things).
     
     I conclude that, while the other factors play an essential part in 
     rooting out corruption, it is impossible to do so without focusing on 
     the inculcation of a sense of morality in the populace because this is 
     what makes it possible for the other factors to function effectively.  
     
     Historically, it is not rich countries that have become more moral, 
     equal and free (as the popular fallacy has it today), it is moral 
     countries which have eventually succeed in becoming egalitarian, free 
     and rich (in that order). As we have driven God from marketplace and 
     senate, the inculcation of morality in the populace is, in fact, now 
     the weakest factor of the three, worldwide.  And, whatever 
     rationalists may say, in the absence of God the emotional reason for 
     venality that is unanswerable is: "When it is to my advantage, why 
     not?".
     
Professor Prabhu Guptara
Director, Executive and Organisational Development
Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre
(a subsidiary of UBS AG)
CH-8272 Ermatingen
Switzerland
Tel: +41.71.663.5605
Fax: +41.71.663.5594
e-mail: prabhu.guptara@ubs.com
INTERNET: http://www.wolfsberg.com

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: "Theorem" of Corruption
Author:  sabhlok (sabhlok@almaak.usc.edu) at nyuxuu
Date:    11.01.99 07:02


     
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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters 
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI 
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Dear Arvind:
     
Thanks for the update on MPs. Could you pl. help update the 'proof' 
which was circulated a couple of days ago by me, based on this info?
     
Sanjeev
     
PS: Prof. Roy had been requested personally by me to comment reg. this 
tentative 'proof.' Instead I have received this note from him:
     
"Your efforts and those of your colleagues appear to be headed to become 
on behalf of a legitimate political interest group in India, one to 
which I have myself belonged in the past, but one which has little to do 
with defining the public interest in India, namely, the interest group 
of Non-Resident Indians/Person of Indian Origin, or a subset thereof."
     
Short reply:
     
a) There are no "colleagues" on IPI. Each is an individual. In fact, IPI 
is owned by 7 Directors of which Prof. Roy is one, and I am not even one 
of the 'owners' in any sense of the word. I helped kick-start it. I do 
most of the work. But who is the owner of this effort is clear: it is 
the people of India who own this debate.
     
b) I am forced to wonder from where this implication has been drawn. If 
EVEN ONE statement on the IPI manifesto can be shown to represent the 
'interest group' of NRIs then I may please be shown that. I would 
strongly urge Prof. Roy to see the IPI effort for what it IS, i.e., the 
effort to bring sanity and sense into Indian policy making, and to NOT 
attribute to anyone, least of all to me, any interest other than the best 
interests of ALL Indians. That is why this is a policy-by-policy debate 
and not a generalized debate or mud-slinging on anyone in particular.
     
c) In particular, I would once again request Prof. Roy to furnish his 
comments as one of India's major political economists, to the very 
tentative Theorem of Corruption and the proof which we are studying. My 
regard for his work is enormous. Let us please work together to study 
policy clearly and in a focused manner and not get distracted by 
perceptions which are not related to the work on IPI.
     
In particular, I believe in that Theorem lies the very **source** of 
corruption in India. If the diagnosis is correct the solution will 
follow. Let us diagnose this issue very carefully. I have also 
circulated that "Theorem" to some of India's best economists across the 
world, merely to ensure that there is no error in the economic 
calculation. Please help point out any inaccuracy/ rash judgment.
     
On Sun, 10 Jan 1999, Arvind Kumar wrote:
     
> 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters 
> are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> An article titled 'A case of custodians looting the coffers'
> by P.L.Prasada Rao appeared on Page 25, The Hindu dated Dec 1 1998. 
> 
> Some points made were:
> 
> The monthly salary of an MP has been enhanced to Rs.4000 from 
> Rs.1500, his daily allowance (a sitting fee for each day the 
> MP attends parliament or any meeting of the house Committee) 
> increased to Rs.400 from Rs.200 (on an average there is a
> sitting of either of the Houses or a committee on at least 20 
> days in a monthwhich means Rs.8000 a month), office expenses 
> (stationery) to Rs.2500 (Rs. 1500), secretarial allowance to
> Rs.6000 (Rs. 4000), constituency allowance to Rs.8000 (Rs. 6000), 
> pairs of air tickets to 32 (28), free electricity to 25000 units 
> (15000), car allowance to Rs.1 lakh (Rs.50000), monthly pension
> to Rs.2500 (Rs.1400), family pension to Rs.1000 (Rs.500),
> accomodation in a mansion or an apartment with host of other 
> privileges. The new pay package to the MPs brought in with
> retrospective effect from April 1, 1998 is estimated to entail 
> a recurring expenditure of over Rs. 15.05 crores a year and a 
> non-recurring expenditure of Rs. 3.65 crores.
> 
> ... on restoring the "out of turn" allotment of gas connections 
> and telephone connections, the author says -
> 
> ...Adding insult to injury, the quota for gas connections was raised 
> from 100 to 160 and the phone connections from 25 to 50.
> 
> ... Not the kind to be left behind, the MLAs also have been giving
> themselves hefty hikes in their emoluments. An MLA in Punjab gets the 
> highest basic monthly salary of Rs. 7500 followed by Haryana Rs. 7000, 
> Karnataka Rs. 6700, UP Rs. 5850, and Assam Rs. 5700 besides a host
> of other allowances. Under the "vehicle loan scheme" all the 87 MLAs 
> in Punjab had a Rs.4 crore bonanza of Tata Sumo cars. In AP, the MLAs 
> are given a grant of Rs.54,500 and a loan of Rs.17,250 to purchase
> computers.
> 
> The author also suggests that pension be given only to those who 
> quit politics for good.
> 
> -Arvind
> 
> 
> 
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> This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org 
> Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/ 
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> 
> 
     
     
     
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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org 
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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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