Wednesday, July 22, 2020

How has Corruption driven China’s Rise? Yuen Yuen Ang discusses her new book — Duncan Green interviews Yuen Yuen Ang


I would add that now the role of  corruption is being addressed acedemically and is found to be a good thing in certain respects. It is endemic to all hierachical systems and can play a positive role in the system, depending on the level of corruption, the types of corruption and the roles these types play in the system. Yuen Yuen Ang examines this in the development of China as a developing country attempting to integrate socialism with capitalism. She holds that Deng wanted to transition to capitalism, but I think that is an exaggeration. He wanted a integration of the positive aspects of both systems.

Be that as it may, the reality is that China is following the developmental path of the US in the 19th century. In the 20th century, "access corruption" was legalized and normalized in the US as compaign finance, lobbying and the revolving door between government and business. While Yuen Yuen Ang views legalized and normalized as positive corruption, she also points out that there are limited that can be exceeded with turn this into negative corruption.

The US is reaching those limits if it has not already passed them. I would argue that many of the societal problems America faces, including social and economic asymmetries and political divisiveness, result from positive corruption as "greasing the wheels" (wink-wink) transitioning to negative corruption as excessive rent extraction that is damaging the social, political and economic system and affecting a vast majority of individuals negatively. The American public is reacting, and the US government is countering with authoritarianism.

Yuen Yuen Ang also points out that the level, type and role of corruption varies over time in a society. She thinks that the goal is not to try to eliminate it compeletely but to channel it toward a positive role. A commenter over there objects that this is immoral. Yuen Yuen Ang would likely answer, yes, but it is pragmatic. I would say, look what happened in the US with Prohibition and the the War on Drugs. Corruption is a knotty problem, especially to the degree it is systemic. 

This article is short and worth a read not only for its focus on China. China is no exception. Corruption manifests universally in hierachical societies, and historically at least from the early agricultural age, societies have been hierarchical.

MMT economists generally leave this angle aside, although MMT ally Michael Hudson has been out front on this for decades. I assume that this a strategy choice that MMT economists have made in how to present MMT publicly.

Oxfam Blogs — From Poverty to Power
How has Corruption driven China’s Rise? Yuen Yuen Ang discusses her new book
Duncan Green, strategic adviser for Oxfam GB, interviews Yuen Yuen Ang, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan

1 comment:

Peter Pan said...

The future of America is Nigerian style corruption.

Be sure to watch a new documentary, "The Con".