People's Agenda/Anti-Corruption Policy

This essay is on Wikiversity to encourage a wide discussion of the issues it raises moderated by the Wikimedia rules that invite contributors to “be bold but not reckless,” contributing revisions written from a neutral point of view citing credible sources -- and raising other questions and concerns on the associated '“Discuss”' page.

Is it fair to say that the primary difference between rich and poor countries is politics?

If you have evidence to the contrary, please post it here. If you believe otherwise, please post your concern to the “Discuss” page accompanying this article.

Similarly, can we say that the primary difference between rich and poor people within a country is politics?

Please post any reservations as requested previously.

Also, is it fair to say that political corruption grows to consume the available money?

Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” according to a 1914 book by Louis Brandeis, who joined the US Supreme Court in 1916. Governments around the world are often accused of excessive secrecy, justified under claims that they could not get things done with excessive public interference. Many governments around the world routinely violate their own transparency laws, as noted below with a discuss of global and state integrity investigations.

After the 2010 decision by the US Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC, several citizens' initiatives have been organized to try to counter the perceived excesses allowed by that decision and other practices. Move to Amend, Wolf PAC, American Promise,[1][2] and other organizations are working to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn that supreme court decision.

Represent.Us is taking a different, complementary approach to political corruption in the US: It is trying to pass local versions of the American Anti-Corruption Act (AACA), which is a collection of measures selected to improve democratic control over government using means the US Supreme Court has so far declared constitutional. They've so far had reasonable success, getting anti-corruption packages passed in South Dakota and a number of more local jurisdictions.

An important source of information on the status of anti-corruption measures is the work of Global Integrity through their Global Integrity Reports for various years[3] and their US State Integrity Investigations.[4] organized in 2012 and 2015. This effort was initiated by the Center for Public Integrity independent of the AACA and Represent.Us. The State Integrity Investigations can help inform and focus local AACA efforts by identifying which areas seem to be most deficient and whether the deficiencies are in law or in practice.

In Kansas, a completely separate initiative called focuses exclusively on local and state governmental entities that hold secret meetings and do not publish adequate summaries of deliberations and decisions as seemingly required by the Kansas Open Meetings Act.[5]

As with virtually every other substantive problem facing humanity today, the mainstream media have a conflict of interest in disseminating any substantive information about corruption, because virtually everywhere the major beneficiaries of that corruption also have substantive control over budgets for the mainstream media. In the US, virtually every major advertiser also invests heavily in political campaign contributions and lobbying to minimize their costs of complying with environmental and workplace safety regulations as well as obtaining US governmental support in pressuring (and sometimes overthrowing) foreign governments considered to be unfriendly.

Millions of words in the US federal tax code and tax regulations, 1955-2005 according to The Tax Foundation ( [1=income tax code; 2=other tax code; 3=income tax regulations; 4=other tax regulations; solid line= total] with total only for 2015

One example of apparent political corruption is the fact that the US tax code and regulations has been growing at just over 150,000 words per year at least since 1955.[6] Few things show such stable, linear growth.[7]

One plausible interpretation, and perhaps the most plausible interpretation, is that 150,000 words per year evidently reflects the ability of the US House and Senate to process new additions to the US tax code and regulations.

Media and corruptionEdit

Many of the primary beneficiaries of these changes are also major advertisers. Consequently, a major media outlet would likely lose substantial advertising from explaining in detail how certain major advertisers were getting special favors from government, e.g., as part of the 150,000 additional words that has been added to US tax law and regulations every year since the early 1950s: Few companies owe their success to biting the hands that feed them. See also the Wikiversity articles on media and corruption, and media and politics.

One might suspect that major media with funding controlled democratically might provide more coverage of the negotiations over changes in the tax code, possibly leading to much simpler tax law in the US and reduced corruption more generally; see the Wikiversity article on Media Subsidies (People's agenda).


  1. "American Promise". Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  2. Huffman, Tom. "Money and Politics". KKFI. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  3. "Reports". Global Integrity. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  4. "State Integrity Investigation". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  5. Cowles, Alan L. (2016). "Kansas Open Meetings". Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  6. with an adjusted coefficient of determination exceeding 99 percent
  7. The slope was estimated at 151,610 with a standard error of 5,540 and a residual standard deviation of 293,200. More common growth patterns include exponential growth, sometimes to an asymptote or growth spurts or cycles like the variations in populations of predator and prey: Rabbits grow until there are too many coyotes. Then the rabbit population declines followed by a decline in the coyote population. Then the rabbit population starts growing again.