Whenever a system is set up to allow corruption, it becomes corrupt. This ought not to surprise anyone, since it’s pretty obvious that the people who set it up to become corrupt planned it that way.
Watching this stuff, and thinking about it, has made my already dim view of humanity get dimmer and dimmer.
This story comes from Alabama – speaking of “places full of planned corruption.” [mj]
Ten years ago, an Alabama sheriff paid $500 for half a truckload of corn dogs. It was a sweet deal for Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett, who liked to find free or donated food for his county jail so he could pocket the leftover money from a state stipend for feeding inmates. For weeks, Bartlett’s prisoners ate corn dogs twice a day, and he used the savings to pad his own wallet, as he testified in a federal court case in 2009. He kept a total of $212,000 over a three-year period—taking advantage of an ambiguous state law that lets sheriffs pocket tax dollars meant to buy meals for jail inmates.
Apparently the original loophole in the law dated back to the 19th century, because sometimes sheriff’s wives would make food for inmates, and they deserved to be compensated for their efforts. Naturally, the loophole stayed on the books and corrupt cops drove a truck right through it.
It ought to be trivially obvious to detect this sort of corruption and eradicate it, but you can’t get that to happen when the lawmakers who are supposed to be fighting corruption are, themselves, corrupt. Eventually, the system collapses because its parasite-load is more than it can support. Then, you have a brief period of dictatorship, which sets the new corruption in stone, and if there’s any attempt to democratize or clean up after the dictatorship it’s mooted by the interests of the embedded corrupt class.