This column illustrates why I'm a libertarian:
It's easy to look at the Blagojevich case and see a failure of personal ethics. It is about character. But it's also about how government itself creates the very conditions for corruption. Think of all the special privileges governors can bestow: subsidies for stadiums, public-works contracts, special taxes and fees, not to mention myriad regulations with myriad loopholes. Chief executives – mayors, governors, and presidents – are supposed to be the chief enforcers of the law. Today, though, they are also chief bestowers of privileges. As such, the trading of favors is intense, leaving little bandwidth for actual public service. Society loses.
The larger the government, the more opportunities for corruption. It's easy to talk political theory, stating why some people deserve some social benefits. I've read the big books and understand the theory. But what of the reality?
Any distributive society will by definition have people (usually morally decayed) doing the distribution. More distribution means more corruption. So what's the answer to that (looking at you, Paul)?
Take note that Illinois is a blue state, and Chicago is a liberal city. Is it coincidental then that corruption controls?
Of course this is not a Republican or Democrat issue. Republicans have Halliburton. Democrats have public-works projects. Either party with the power to act will act corruptly. And the corruption is proportional to the power given.
Another bad aspect of government
regulation: Unequal bargaining power. I am much less afraid of a
gang-banger than the IRS. If a gang-banger comes after me, I can shoot
him. I can defend myself on equal terms. It's the law of the jungle.
If the IRS comes after me, I am on unequal terms. I'll pay what I'm
told or pay a lawyer even more to fight it. Where is the theory of justice in that?