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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

How Two American Economists Proved Corruption Is Incurable In Ghana

The degraded and abused Ghanaian flag

The degraded and abused Ghanaian flag

Many people are worried about societal problems, including corruption and violence, which have taken over many African countries. 

There is corruption everywhere, and it has been acknowledged that law enforcement officers, courts and parliamentarians are the most corrupt branches of governments.

Micah chapter7, verse 3, reveals: “Their hands are turned to do evil; the chief demands gifts, and the judge for bribes, and the grandees express the evil desires of his soul and pervert the matter ”

Since ancient times, power and corruption have been inseparable and parallel evolution of the state has evolved corruption.

In 2010, Ghana began to transfer government officials to a new wage scheme. Most of the reform was won by the police, whose salaries doubled overnight. It was assumed that this will lead to the fact that they will stop extorting money from drivers on the roads.

The fact that the situation in this area is appalling was eloquently shown by the results of a survey conducted by the international organization Transparency International: 91% of Ghanaians believed that the police and politicians are corrupt.

Shortly after the innovation, a large-scale survey of truckers using the roads of Ghana and neighboring Burkina Faso was conducted.

Drivers, who have documents in order, were asked to record how often they were stopped and how much money they had to give as a bribe to police and customs officers during a trip, writes The British Economist.

Two American economists, Jeremy Foltz, and Kweku Opoku-Agyemang analyzed data. The main conclusion was that the police of Ghana became more corrupt after the salary increase both in absolute terms and in comparison with the police of Burkina Faso and the Ghanaian customs officers.

The Ghana police increased the number of checkpoints on the roads and began to detain trucks for unreasonable reasons for a longer time. A driver was stopped 16 times while he was driving through Ghana and money taken.

If people are underpaid, they take bribes in order to make up the difference between real and imaginary income levels. For example, 10 years ago, British deputies faked accountability for their expenses, because they earned less than other people with the same qualifications.

Among the main reasons why the Ghanaian police, despite the wage increase, continued to take bribes, according to Foltz and Opoku-Agyemang, due to corruption and greediness.

Another possible explanation was, salary increases increased their sense of value, and as a result, they began to demand more money. Since the risk of being caught in Ghana is small, it is impossible in this case to apply the normal calculation of risk and reward.

Perhaps a combination of higher wages, skillful political leadership, and harsh punishment could stop corruption. This formula, for example, worked in Singapore but a high salary is certainly not enough.

Contrary to human nature, the increment of salary can never stop corruption because the greed of man has no limit.

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