Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Are larger governments more corrupt?

It occurred to me that if you hold all else equal, it seems that the amount of corruption in a government increases with size. The provincial governments seems less corrupt than Ottawa. Ottawa seems less corrupt than Washington...ect. There are two reasons that I can think of to explain this.

First being that the larger government having more money is able to pay off more special interests using its size as cover. In other words, the large government is too big for the average Joe to watch, and they take advantage of that.

The other reason would be that big governments aren't actually more corrupt than their smaller counterparts. Their big size just draws a lot of media attention. Much of this media attention will highlight corruption. Therefore, we think that big governments are relatively more corrupt, but really they just draw relatively more media coverage.

I am aware that these theories are mutually exclusive. I am not aware of which (either?) one is true. I'll reserve that one for people smarter than me.

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