Corruption in China

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.

Presented by

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

Adults Who Live In Treehouses

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

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

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Politics

Just In