Wednesday, July 27, 2022

There Won't Be Any Winners Because The Status Quo Is Corrupt Everywhere

Systemic corruption on this vast scale optimizes failure and collapse.

Debating which nations will "win" as the global economy unravels is a popular but pointless parlor game. Since the status quo in every nation is deeply, profoundly, systemically corrupt, there won't be any "winners," there will only be losers.

Apologists love to say that corruption has always come hand-in-hand with power, and this is superficially true. Once a centralized hierarchy takes power, those seeking self-glorification and wealth seek power as a means to their self-enrichment and glorification.

Naturally, they use their power to reward those who helped them gain power and those helping them maintain power. So a small Texas contractor who contributed to Lyndon Johnson's political career was awarded immense contracts to build bases in Vietnam during Johnson's vast expansion of the Vietnam War. It's just business, right?

But this naive, superficial normalization of corruption ignores the consequential difference between two types of corruption. One kind is directing cushy positions and contracts to cronies: well-paid positions on boards are given to pals, fat contracts are awarded to political allies, and so on. The point here is that somebody was going to get the cushy position and the fat contract anyway, and so the corruption is in who gets the gravy.

This level of corruption has a systemic cost. Bribes paid to secure contracts and subsidies act as a "tax" on the economy, as the bribes add expense but do not deliver any improvement in quality or quantity. When the most qualified candidate or firm is passed over to favor an unqualified crony or ally, the loss in effectiveness is consequential, though more difficult to measure.

The systemically destructive type of corruption is on a completely different level. Systemic corruption deforms the core economic functions of governance and capital to enrich insiders at the expense of the national interest and the common good.

When corruption hollows out a nation's military capabilities, that undermines national security. When shoddily built equipment is stripped of valuable parts (to be sold on the black market) to the point it's no longer of any military value, corruption has a cost that is incalculable until it's too late to repair the rot. When armament contracts are given to build inferior weapons systems to benefit cronies, corruption has optimized losing the next war.

When corruption is the deciding factor in distributing the nation's capital, that mal-investment of irreplaceable resources in unproductive projects fatally undermines the entire economy. When corruption funnels national resources into poorly built bridges to nowhere ghost cities and monuments to excess, there are opportunity costs that can never be recovered, for all that capital and labor could have been invested productively.

Corruption becomes fatal when those in power are no longer able to distinguish the difference between self-interest and the national interest. Systemic corruption blurs the lines and persuades those in power that their self-enrichment and power grabs are serving the national interest.

The truth is their distorting the system to maximize their private gain cannot possibly serve the national interest or the common good. It's one thing to reward a long-serving crony by appointing the pal to a cushy no-real-work-required position on a crony-filled board with little actual power. It's another to distort the distribution of irreplaceable capital and resources to maximize the self-enrichment of the corrupt few as the expense of the many.

Systemic corruption on this vast scale optimizes failure and collapse.

In my book Global Crisis, National Renewal, I argue that the only nations that will survive the transition from a waste is growth economy will be those which embrace Degrowth. We can also say that only those nations which succeed in limiting systemic corruption will have the means to invest their nation's dwindling resources productively.

Since no nation is exhibiting any consequential interest in either Degrowth or eradicating systemic corruption, there will be no "winners", there will only be losers. While the status quo careens into decay and collapse, at least we can enrich ourselves by chasing the Pelosi Portfolio.




Recent podcasts/videos:

Tectonic Shift of Mercantilism Revalued (Gordon Long, Macro-Analytics, 42 min)

My new book is now available at a 10% discount this month: When You Can't Go On: Burnout, Reckoning and Renewal.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.



My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $24, audiobook) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 Kindle, $10 print, ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 Kindle, $8.95 print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 Kindle, $15 print)
Read the first section for free


Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Lisa P. ($125), for your beyond-outrageously generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership.

 

Thank you, Milan ($5/month), for yet another superbly generous pledge to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

Terms of Service

All content on this blog is provided by Trewe LLC for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at anytime and without notice.


Our Privacy Policy:


Correspondents' email is strictly confidential. This site does not collect digital data from visitors or distribute cookies. Advertisements served by a third-party advertising network (Investing Channel) may use cookies or collect information from visitors for the purpose of Interest-Based Advertising; if you wish to opt out of Interest-Based Advertising, please go to Opt out of interest-based advertising (The Network Advertising Initiative). If you have other privacy concerns relating to advertisements, please contact advertisers directly. Websites and blog links on the site's blog roll are posted at my discretion.


PRIVACY NOTICE FOR EEA INDIVIDUALS


This section covers disclosures on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for users residing within EEA only. GDPR replaces the existing Directive 95/46/ec, and aims at harmonizing data protection laws in the EU that are fit for purpose in the digital age. The primary objective of the GDPR is to give citizens back control of their personal data. Please follow the link below to access InvestingChannel’s General Data Protection Notice. https://stg.media.investingchannel.com/gdpr-notice/


Notice of Compliance with The California Consumer Protection Act


This site does not collect digital data from visitors or distribute cookies. Advertisements served by a third-party advertising network (Investing Channel) may use cookies or collect information from visitors for the purpose of Interest-Based Advertising. If you do not want any personal information that may be collected by third-party advertising to be sold, please follow the instructions on this page: Do Not Sell My Personal Information


Regarding Cookies:


This site does not collect digital data from visitors or distribute cookies. Advertisements served by third-party advertising networks such as Investing Channel may use cookies or collect information from visitors for the purpose of Interest-Based Advertising; if you wish to opt out of Interest-Based Advertising, please go to Opt out of interest-based advertising (The Network Advertising Initiative) If you have other privacy concerns relating to advertisements, please contact advertisers directly.


Our Commission Policy:

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I also earn a commission on purchases of precious metals via BullionVault. I receive no fees or compensation for any other non-advertising links or content posted on my site.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP