By Russ Warner, VP Marketing & Operations –
If money is involved, corruption may be nearby. Whether in private or in public affairs, individuals sometimes take advantage of their power and position to make a situation more profitable. Bribery, extortion, and under-the-table business deals have become increasingly common as individuals become more skilled in the art of deception and more difficult to apprehend and penalize.
State spending is an area that concerns most of us. Every U.S. citizen is required by law to pay taxes to federal and state governments. Unfortunately, we cannot always rely on our state officials to utilize tax proceeds in a way that will benefit us more than them. There is significant corruption in public officials’ state expenditures, which negatively affects us as average citizens.
A new study suggests there is a correlation between corruption and excessive spending in certain sectors.
Neglecting Social Sectors
A prominent issue in state spending corruption is evidenced by areas to which money is allocated. For example, things such as public education, health care and hospitals are neglected in favor of salaries, wages, police protection, capital, highways, construction and borrowing (Liu and Mikesell 2014).
Although these budgetary items would seem to help the public, in reality they primarily serve the needs and desires of those in public offices. Educational expenditures are less likely to provide financial benefits to public officials. Similarly, health care and hospitals help the people — not the leaders — and therefore self-serving government officials will seek other ways to use taxpayer funds.
Corruption in Construction
Construction is one of the most highly corrupted industries in public spending (Liu and Mikesell 2014). With complicated procedures, business monopolies and close governmental regulation, it’s an easy industry in which to bribe public officials.
The fact that corruption is so prevalent across many states is an indicator of excess spending. Additionally, spending more money on highways is common in states with high corruption levels (Liu and Mikesell 2014).
According to the same study, police protection and correctional facilities are in greater demand in these states as well. It’s easy to understand how corruption increases with concerns regarding wages, salaries and borrowing for public officials. Even for the average citizen, when money issues arise, moral decision-making becomes grey and fuzzy.
Obviously, when corruption is a significant problem at the state level, spending is much higher than it needs to be. Public officials who have become corrupted are increasingly fraudulent, making it more of an arduous task to identify them up front.
For this reason, state and federal institutions should implement ongoing employee screening to detect bribery, corruption and fraud. In fact, pre-screening politicians would save a lot of time and effort.
EyeDetect™ is a lie detector solution that can be used as a cost-effective tool against increased spending due to corruption. EyeDetect is a non-intrusive and highly accurate way to detect corruption. Along with or in place of polygraph technology, EyeDetect can detect deception, which can help expose corrupt state public officials and lower fraudulent state expenditures.
Note: Opinions expressed by Russ Warner are his own.