April 10, 2009
Yesterday’s blog about China was more fun than I expected. Just to be clear, I prefer the American system of government. But as regular readers know, I like to defend the opposite views from whatever I hold. It’s a good test.
Many of you pointed out the problem of corruption in China. One source says it might amount to $86 billion per year, or 10 percent of government spending.
Therefore the Democratic/Republic form of government is better than Chinese communism, right?
I would argue that corruption is independent of the form of government. Corruption is just as much a crime in China as it is in the U.S. The difference is the effectiveness of enforcement. If you look at America early in this century, corruption was rampant, probably on the level of China today, yet our system of government was the same as now.
Consider that our system of government took more than 200 years to beat corruption down to its current level. China’s political system is relatively new and their country is relatively huge. The only relevant question is whether corruption in China is trending better or worse. And I don’t know the answer to that. Do you?
You can’t measure trends in corruption by dollar amount. If corruption stays at a constant rate, the dollar amount would be growing. So someone Google me up a good statistic on Chinese corruption trends.