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Trickle-Down for the State


According to this article in the Guardian, the average amount of bribes in Russia has risen 700% over a recent period in which prices in general have risen 70%. Furthermore, fewer bribes are being paid, so it may not be said, actually, that corruption is spreading (perhaps it is "rising").

It seems that shakedown artists are more-narrowly targeting the (newly?) prosperous for bribes, even while not soliciting a growing proportion of the population who would seem to be unable to pay a worthwhile amount. Is this an undeniable sign of spreading (or rising?) prosperity in Russia, highlighted by the huge and intrusive state apparatus endemic there?

As the state apparatus in places outside Russia where prosperity is increasing grows more huge and intrusive, may we eventually see a similar trend in bribery in those places? If we do, I'm confident of one place where it will not be reported: The Statistical Abstract of the United States.

Thanks to In Brief of the Foundation for Economic Education (www.fee.org) for calling my attention to this article.

N. Joseph Potts studies economics at his home in South Florida. Send him mail.

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