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About this sample
Words: 971 |
5 min read
Published: Nov 6, 2018
Words: 971|Pages: 2|5 min read
Political corruption occurs when political leaders abuse their power in order to further their own agenda. This corruption takes place in the US in many different forms including, bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. These corrupt practices often have a negative effect on public life. The negative effects of political corruption includes the lack of quality services, the lack of justice, disregard for government officials and a lack in trust in the government. Although many studies of these corrupt governmental practices focus on the federal government, political corruption occurs just as often on the state and local level of government. Many efforts have been made to stop these corrupt practices from taking place in the US government but they have been difficult to enforce and have not proven to be effective. State and local governments have a high level corruption and this can be harmful to the citizens in these cities and states even more so that corruption on the federal level. Lack of transparency leaves citizens unaware of these corrupt practices and their effect which makes it important to be aware of the causes of this corruption in order to put an end to it.
There are many causes for political corruption on the state and local level including personal greed, lack of efficient punishment, and lack of transparency in affairs. The most significant of those is the lack of transparency of affairs. When state and local governments lack transparency, participation decreases, there is limited access to information and citizens are overall left in the dark. This lack of transparency allows high levels of corrupt practice because citizens are not able to question the actions of their government leaders. Transparency is important on all levels of government but when it comes to addressing transparency on a local level it is important to focus on transparency in strategic management and transparency with citizen interaction. State and local governments often do not provide adequate access to information which leads to distrust from the citizens and the possibility for even more corruption. Allowing adequate access to government information will make government bodies more responsive while simultaneously having a positive effect on the levels of public participation in state and local government. The lack of transparency in state and local government is one of the largest contributors to the high level of political corruption and decreasing the level of corruption will require an open government that encourages citizen interaction.
Along with a lack of transparency, personal greed plays a major role in the corruption of state and local government. When government leaders allow their personal greed to take over, the citizens of the states or cities that they work for suffer. Greed often leads to corrupt practices such as bribery, embezzlement and extortion. These practices often misuse tax dollars and abuse the trust of the citizens. Citizens trust that their tax dollars will be used in a way that will benefit the public whether they go to education, health care or development in the city but when government leaders decide to use tax dollars to do things such as fund their own political campaign or give their department unwarranted bonuses, the tax-paying citizens have to suffer. There have been many accounts of mayors and other local officials pleading guilty to crimes such as bribery and extortion which causes major distrust in the government by the citizens. Greed can even go as far as affecting local law enforcement and the legal system. For example, greedy government officials will often push their local police forces to act as “tax-collectors”. In many places, the police are expected to collect revenue for local politicians which leads to more instances of excessive force by police officers and police brutality with very little repercussions. This makes the citizens feel unsafe and lose all faith in the legal system in our country. In order to ensure that citizens are safe and all government money is being used in a just way, there must be more rules regulations for government officials and they must be enforced. Greed accounts for a large amount of government corruption and in order to decrease corruption on the state and local level, greedy leaders must be kept out of office.
Another cause of corruption is a lack of efficient punishment. When leaders are not given a figure to answer to, they often do not have to face the consequences of their corrupt actions. When leaders go without punishment, they are not encouraged to put a stop to the corrupt government practices, especially those that benefit them personally. These leaders are not being held accountable for their actions which often leads to corruption being “swept under the rug”. When corruption is not addressed, more corruption will occur and the result are corrupt state and local governments that are harmful to the citizens and the country. In order to decrease these high levels of corruption, government leaders must be held accountable for their actions and forced to face consequences that match the severity of their actions.
Unfortunately, corruption occurs on all level of government and it has a negative effect on country as a whole. Corruption on the state and local level has more of a direct effect on the well-being of the citizens which is why it is important that corruption is put to an end. The concept of cooperative federalism will aid the fight against corruption in state and local governments. When the federal government gets involved (although the federal government has corruption of its own), it is able to ensure that state and local governments conduct themselves in a certain way through laws and federal regulations. More laws that promote transparency, limit the amount of possible personal gain and hold government officials accountable for their actions will help to limit corruption and better the lives of the citizens.
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