Corruption in China

More

I suppose I'm just an optimist at hear, but reading about how the People's Republic of China is going to execute to former head of the PRC food and drug regulatory agency tends to confirm my belief that China's going to find it extremely difficult to continue on the path of prosperity and autocracy.

You reach for these kind of extremely harsh punishments when you recognize that you have a lot of people getting away with a brand of crime that you think it's very important to curb. China, in short, has a large corruption problem, and very little success at catching corrupt officials. Thus, executions. But this sort of law enforcement strategy rarely works. It's much better to catch a large proportion of violators and mete out a moderate punishment than to catch only a small proportion of violators and then clamp down super harshly. But the only even vaguely effective means of clamping down on public corruption is to allow for a free press and competitive politics; the things that create institutions with incentives to expose corruption.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In