Is corruption an accidental byproduct of statism?

Cronyism and failure are baked into the cake
Initiated force creates at least three perverse incentives that virtually guarantee bad outcomes…
First, tax-funded institutions have no need to perform well. Taxpayers cannot withdraw funding. The result is sloth and waste.  corrupt1
Second, politicians use failure to justify larger budgets. They say, “If only we had these tools or this regulation or a bigger staff, we could’ve prevented X.” That sounds reasonable, but the result is that failure gets rewarded.
Third, those who receive state benefits have a large incentive to defend them. But the cost of each benefit is dispersed among all taxpayers. This means that no one taxpayer has much incentive to resist any particular handout.* This imbalance creates bad incentives. The result is wasteful spending, spiraling debt, and rampant cronyism.
Statist failure is no accident. It’s not brought about by random or unintended consequences. The use of initiated force to solve social problems is a recipe for failure.
Cronyism, waste, and corruption are baked into the cake. Remember that when you hear a late night TV comedian joke about bureaucratic incompetence or read a headline about some political scandal.

Perry Willis

About the Author

Perry Willis

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Perry Willis is the co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and Downsize DC. He was the National Director of the Libertarian National Committee on two occasions, and ran two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns. He has an extensive background in marketing and fundraising, and has ghost written direct mail appeals for numerous luminaries, including Karl Hess, Ron Paul, Charlton Heston and Harry Browne.

Jim Babka

About the Author

Jim Babka

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Jim Babka is co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and President of, Inc. He’s an author and former talk show host.
Previously, he was the President of, Inc., defending free press rights all the way to the Supreme Court. He and Susie are the proud, home-schooling parents of three teenagers. He enjoys theology, UFC, target practice, and Tai Chi.

* -This idea comes from a book called The Logic of Collective Action. The author observes that where benefits are concentrated on special interests, but costs are widely dispersed to taxpayers, you get cronyism and corruption that is impervious to voter resistance.

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Show Comments 9


  1. The problem is: “The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked.” No matter what kind of government you have, unless the people are ruled by God there will be corruption.


    1. Hey, we have evidence that Lawrence is correct, whether you like the fact that Scripture warned us first or not: A Stanford experiment, and later a Milgram one, essentially proved it!
      We are neither qualified to give nor follow orders.
      “These studies show something powerful about human psychology, and about statism…
      We are corrupted by coercive power
      We are corrupted when others have coercive power over us
      Coercive power short-circuits empathy
      Not only is there no need for some person or group to have coercive control over society, it’s positively dangerous to do so.”~~ Perry Willis and Jim Babka

  3. Actually, Lawrence is right, ALL of us are corrupt from birth. The God-haters don’t like to acknowledge this fact, but it is precisely why no one can be trusted with State power. Small, decentralized government is the only form of governance compatible with fallen human nature.

    1. We’re all corrupt from birth and only the holy Christians like you have the fix for it I’m sure. Do you have any sources to back up this “fact”?
      It sounds like you’re advocating anarchy; you want to be ruled by a fictitious character in a book. Why don’t we just submit to Spongebob Squarepants while we’re at it?

      1. Maybe you should re-read my comment. When I said we’re ALL corrupt, I actually meant ALL. I’m just restating the words of our Creator. You are free to reject the Truth, but I hope you understand that your failure to believe does not change eternal Truth.

        1. Just because you capitalize it doesn’t make it true. Go move to the middle east if you so badly want to be ruled by a religious government, you inbred tool.

      2. Your right. I am a holy Christian set apart by God. But that only means that I am a corrupt sinner like every one else and I have no goodness of my own. Only God is good. He has had mercy on me and led me to trust Jesus Christ as my Saviour. So you see, I am no better than you or anyone else. Just that God has been merciful and forgiven my sins.

        1. God’s not good, why the hell would you think that? He’s personally responsible for more murders than all the other deities and humans combined, according to the fables. Satan is way more morally just than god. Satan just wanted to spread knowledge and not be dominated by a hateful god that throws temper tantrums and demands everyone like him like a high school girl. Satan also doesn’t exclude anybody or threaten them with violence if they don’t worship him.
          Hmm, threaten with violence… where have I heard that term before? Oh right, on this website when talking about how the state forces you to submit under threats of violence. Face it, you’re on this website because you’d like the government to be more like Satan and less like god. Hail Satan!

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