“Sometimes even the president of the United States must stand naked” – Bob Dylan
I hope we aren’t saying goodbye to the rule of law, as countries with a strong rule of law tend to be prosperous. When contract law is enforced evenly people can do business, people can make plans. Likewise if the citizenry know that even the government is subject to the rule of law, that even the president is not above the law, they can make other life plans. Whether or not to join the military for instance.
If people know that they are secure in their property, that the government won’t, and can’t under the law, just arbitrarily take one’s land or life, everyday folks feel that they have some control over their own destiny. When even the unconnected hinterland resident knows that he or she is a valued part of the country, that hinterland resident is likely to give much more to his or her fellow human beings in a multitude of ways.
If in contrast this average person feels more subject than citizen, the economic and societal vigor of a place ebbs away. If the average person feels like the chips of government are stacked against him or her that person is unlikely to stick his or her neck out as history has shown that such necks under powerful governments tend to get stretched.
It appears that we are now creating a “Too Big to Jail/Fail” aristocracy with its own legal and economic rules, and another system for the rest of us. The first system tends to work out better for the participants.
We are not the only ones to observe this. David Galland at Casey Research has a few things to say too.
What I’m trying to say is that, regardless of what the popular corruption indexes show – and those are typically based on fairly suspect surveys on matters such as transparency in corporate reporting or whether bribes are required to do business – when you take into account the systematic skewing of the judicial and electoral systems to favor the entrenched politicos and their friends in high places, the level of corruption in the Anglosphere would make an African despot blush.