Saturday, March 2, 2013

Why poor people pay more bribes than rich people | Felix Salmon

Why poor people pay more bribes than rich people | Felix Salmon

Why poor people pay more bribes than rich people

By Felix Salmon

FEBRUARY 18, 2013
Azam Ahmed has a report from Kabul’s ‘Car Guantánamo’ today:
Behind these walls are thousands of cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles and even bicycles, lined up in vehicular purgatory after falling afoul of the Kabul traffic police. Things that have landed cars in the slammer: illegal left turns, parking violations, involvement in fender-benders and, perhaps most egregious, failure to pay a bribe.
“I’ve been waiting two months to get my van back,” said Sayed Wahid, whose quest to reclaim it, after it was impounded for an expired international permit, propelled him on an exhausting odyssey through no fewer than six different government agencies…
In November, Mr. Wahid had driven his van from Kunduz down to Kabul when he was pulled over at a checkpoint in the capital. His license and car tags were clean, but a permit to cross international borders, though not needed for that specific trip, had expired.
For a moment, he said, he considered bribing the officer. He has regretted every day for the past two months his decision not to.
Ahmed explains that when it comes to Kabul’s traffic police, “the rules are unevenly applied, punitive to those who can least afford it, and mostly irrelevant to those with money and power.”

Here the I-O police have a right wing bias to Iv-Oy, then secret bribes are like commissions to a salesmen. Bi-Ro communities get fragmented but can often come together in demonstrations and protests. Y-V teams profit most with the police becoming their agents in many cases. Oy crimes are poorly policed, the Y mafia might bribe the O police to look the other way. The poor are like prey and so they pay more than those who are Y-Oy predatory in a Roy country.
The point here is that it’s the poor, like Sayed Wahid, who are hit hardest by Kabul’s endemic corruption. Either they do the sensible thing, and pay a bribe they can ill afford, or else they’re at real risk of losing their livelihood. Meanwhile, the rich and powerful aren’t even asked to pay bribes: the police know better than to try this stunt on someone who could easily get them fired. It’s safe to solicit a bribe from a guy from Kunduz in a van; you’d have to be much braver to try it with a man in a suit driving a Mercedes.
It’s not that the rich don’t pay bribes at all; of course they do. But in general when the rich pay bribes, they tend to get even richer. That’s the deal: that’s business.

The rich pay commissions to the police for profit, when I is biased to the right they might pay civil fines for criminal fraud which are like commissions or bribes that go to I pay rises.

When the poor pay bribes, by contrast, it’s a deadweight loss: it’s just money disappearing into the pockets of a corrupt official, never to be seen again.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.