Causes and Effects of Corruption
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In many countries, corruption has been one of the most persistent problems hindering the economic development of a country and increasing the poverty levels in many nations. Corruption can generally be described as an act of using a public office for private or personal gains. In other words, corruption is a situation where a person uses his/her official status, rank or position for his/her personal benefit. It comprise of behaviors such as fraud, bribery, extortion, nepotism, appropriation of public property and assets for personal use, as well as embezzlement of public funds (Abed & Gupta, 6). Corruption has consistently been one of the most serious challenges hindering the economic development and modernization of many countries across the globe. This impede equality in the distribution of public resources since only few individuals benefit from those resources while the majority still live in a state of deprivation.
The main causes of corruption in many countries particularly in developing countries include implementation of laws that deter public monitoring and participation in government activities (Abed & Gupta, 6). In many developing countries and few developed countries, the government does not engage the general public in the implementation of many policies and projects. This hinders them from monitoring the allocation and distribution of public resources, thus giving room for corrupt individuals to acquire public resources for their own personal interests.
Moreover, corruption is also caused by the lack of institutional arrangements and effective mechanisms in many countries, which can hold public office holders responsible for their actions. In addition, many people who hold public offices are given discretionary powers by the state. Also, many administrators are granted a lot of freedom in making critical decisions on how rules should be applied, and they also have powers to amend, rescind, alter or even supplement various rules by setting new restrictive administrative procedures and measures.
Another major cause of corruption is the enactment of laws that prevent the general public from accessing information. Many federal governments have enacted official secret Acts and numerous laws, which provide a government with an opportunity to conceal its information and withhold the public, as well as civil society from access to vital information. For instance, information regarding government expenditure is in most cases confidential, and this keeps the general public from knowing how much a government spends. This creates room for corruption to set in since it is hard for citizens to know the money spent on government expenditures (Mishra, 23).
Failure to deliver justice through legal institutions, especially judiciary, is also another main cause of corruption. In most developing countries, the fight against corruption has become almost impossible due to ineffective judicial mechanisms to deal with corrupt people. In many cases, corrupt individuals are able to influence judges’ decisions by bribing them; this increases the cases of corruption especially among people who hold public offices.
As a result of corruption, many countries lag behind in economic development and modernization. This has been the main reason why many developing countries are still poor because the national resource benefits few people through corruption deals. For instance, it is believed that a country like Kenya had a higher per capital income than Malaysia, but currently Malaysia is among the most developed countries in Asia while Kenya is still a poor country due to corruption.
Corruption also leads to the high rate of unemployment in a country. This is because corruption reduces investment in a country and hinders equitable distribution of resources which stimulate the creation of job opportunities (Luca, 33). In addition, corruption also leads to unemployment because job opportunities are not offered on merit, but rather offered through bribery. This prevents people from humble backgrounds from getting jobs thus they remain poor, and this results to poverty in the entire country.
Another negative effect of corruption is that it creates a negative image in the international sphere. As a result, donors and investors from international countries opt to withdraw their financial and humanitarian assistance in corrupt countries, and this increase the poverty levels. For instance, in 2011, British government had threatened to stop their financial assistance for free education in Kenya due to rampant corruption that was experienced in the ministry of education. This could result to adverse problems particularly to people from poor backgrounds. Therefore, corruptions have severe impacts on the welfare of all citizens.
Additionally, corruption results to the provision of poor public services; for instance, poor infrastructures, poor medical services such as lack of medicines (Lee-Chai, Annette & Bargh, 46). This is because money allocated in such sectors is stolen by corrupt government officials. In addition, corruption results to shoddy work on government projects. The embezzlement of public funds leads to stall of the projects. This increases poverty and raises the cost of goods and services.
From my point of view, there is a need to restructure restrictive laws, which prevent the general public to participate and monitor government activities. This will ensure transparency since people will play a role of surveillance in ensuring that money allocated on government projects is spent wisely. This will eliminate cases of corruption since it will be easier to identify any anomalies.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that by restructuring the judicial system, corruption can be drastically reduced. This is because corrupt individuals especially in developing countries were left unpunished as a result of ineffective laws that reduced the chances of holding many public officers accountable. Moreover, corruption can also be eliminated by enacting extremely strict laws to punish corrupt individuals.
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