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Why corruption in Miami-Dade County must be rooted out?

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   1 comment
Message Farid Khavari


Corruption is the worst plague of an economy and a society. Unfortunately, it has infested Miami-Dade County. For this county to prosper, the corruption must be rooted out completely for the good of all her residents, and even for those who benefit from it. The consequences of corruption during of anemic economic growth can be incredibly devastating.

What are some of the consequences?

1)     Permanent and ongoing increases in cost.

2)     Declining service and protection.

3)     Depriving people from equal opportunity.

4)     Growing number of brain-drains from the corrupt community to other areas of the nation to escape the corruption and seek fair opportunity.

5)     The lack of courage to challenge the corrupted politicians due to fear from backlashes.

6)     Declining economy and growing social costs as corruption continues, sending that economy and society into third-world oblivion.

The occurrence of corruption festers when one or more of the following factors are used by politicians and others in the government.

a)      Cronyism:   This phenomenon kicks in when a politician employs his buddies, friends and those who helped him/her financially or otherwise to achieve the position, especially when these appointed people are unqualified for that position or better qualified people could have been hired at much lower cost. Even worse is when these people are hired to achieve certain goals for the politicians who have close relationship with certain groups of voters.

b)     Nepotism: This is classic corruption. This often happens when the family members get involved in lobbying activities, exploiting the power and position of the politicians for financial gains. In this connection it is irrelevant whether the booties are shared with the politicians or not. Usually, the politicians gain financially directly and/or indirectly.

c)      Favoritism: To this category belongs all those hires, contracts, changes of law and ordinance to fit certain groups because of returning favors for those received. Favoritism also describes when people or companies are recommended by the contributors who supported the campaign or hiring people or companies that supported the campaign themselves directly. To this group also belongs those who are not qualified for certain jobs and/or their salaries by far exceed their qualifications. Needless to say that these favors are financed by the tax-payers directly or indirectly.

d)     Unfair treatments: The most common phenomenon of this type of corrupted behavior happens when all groups of government employees are not treated equally, and certain groups receive preferred treatments. One example of this would be the treatment of the police union in Miami-Dade County received as opposed to the firefighters. Now the police are facing layoffs of 300 or more on top of a 5% cut to pay. Balancing the budget through salary cuts is the wrong measure to begin with, as this leads to implementing more austerity and belt-tightening measures each year as a new balanced budget must be presented. Balancing the budget without increasing revenues is doomed, leading to more unemployment. More unemployment means less tax revenue, and this just complicates balancing the budget for the next period. To achieve increasing revenue, new and more jobs must be created. Definitely not increasing the list of unemployed people. Another case of unfair treatment occurs when certain language or other requirements are added to be able to qualify for government jobs. In Miami-Dade County, this would exclude almost all of the Anglos, Afro-Americans, and other not Spanish speaking citizens.

e)     Lack of solid character: Politicians that accept donations from every interest group, especially from those who have competing interests, is another strong factor for underlying corruption. Corruption always begins with dubious character, who displays greed and dishonesty.

f)       Ineptness of the politicians: Such famous examples include the funds blown on Marlin stadium as well as the drive to expand gambling in this county, which would have been financed by siphoning revenues from the anemic economy. Taking donations from the interest groups of these deals is the epitome of corruption because favors must be returned at the expense of the tax-paying residents of this county.

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Farid A. Khavari, Ph.D., is a noted economist and independent candidate for Florida governor in 2014. He is the author of 10 books including Environomics: the Economics of Environmentally Safe Prosperity (1993) and Toward a Zero Cost Economy (more...)

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