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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 233 of Randy Holcombe’s superb 2018 book, Political Capitalism: How Economic and Political Power is Made and Maintained (footnote deleted):

Regulation, more than other types of government intervention, invites corruption because regulation is explicitly designed either to force people to do things they would not otherwise choose to do or to prevent them from doing things they otherwise would choose to do. Those being regulated naturally have the incentive to try to offer benefits to regulators to lessen the effects of regulation, or to redesign regulations that harm them and pass regulations that help them. A bribe to a regulator benefits both the regulator and the regulated, opening a natural avenue for exchange. These bribes often are legal, pointing to the fine line between corruption and rent-seeking, but that fine line is perhaps only of academic interest when analyzing political capitalism. Indeed, the elite have every incentive to make such payments legal – a part of the rules under which the economy operates….