Susmit Kumar, PhD
Although individual corruption is low in the US, as persons who commit illegal acts may very well be caught, a corrupt political-business nexus does exist. This corruption is different from the one we typically find in everyday life in India and other Third World countries. As politicians in the US need a lot of money to run for an elected post, they have to accept donations from multinationals and the ultra-wealthy. Once elected, politicians work more for these multinationals and the ultra-wealthy, and less for the benefit for the average citizen.
Though politicians receive only peanuts—a few thousands of dollars—in donations, their benefactors get millions, if not billions, of dollars from them in budgets and other government provisions like tax breaks and no-bid contracts. The American political system has forced politicians to become corrupt in this way, which can better be described as systemic rather than the personal form it takes in some developing countries. Allegations of large-scale government corruption in advanced democracies like Italy and Japan have been responsible for the fall of governments as well.
This type of corruption is similar to the political corruption in Third World countries like India, except that in the US politicians legally give government funds to multinationals and the ultra-wealthy via legislative procedures. Nevertheless, in spite of this superficial legality, this money should go the development of the country, decreasing the budget deficit, or paying down the national debt, instead of to those who are already well-off.
Although the Republicans are at the forefront of this type of corruption, most Democrats also have to engage in it as they need money to get elected. This is one of the main reasons why large corporations have been successful in sending millions of jobs overseas irrespective of whether the presidency and Congress are controlled by Republicans or Democrats: They have purchased the collusion of political office-holders even before they take office.
Although the common people elect the government and legislatures, the government and legislatures do not work for the common people because they need money to win elections and for this very reason, they work for ultra-rich and trans-national corporations.
From Dr. Susmit Kumar’s forthcoming book Casino Capitalism and the Collapse of the American Economy, Leading to the Emergence of Islamic Empire. Visit: www.susmitkumar.net
Copyright The author 2011