Monday, July 27, 2009
Model City of the Day: Newark
Then there’s Newark, which deserves its own chapter in corruption ignominy. You have to go back to 1962 in New Jersey’s largest city to find a mayor who completed his time in office and wasn’t later indicted for it. —Brad Parks reminiscing in "Poison Ivy in the Garden State"
Never mind all that. The greater corruption in American society is legal—weapons manufacture as a jobs program, prisons conceived of as an "industry," Senators lobbied to procrastinate while their constituents die and the country goes broke.
Yet while this corruption is legal, the consequences are the same as what we see in New Jersey, amplified—wasted taxpayer money, irrational governance and a cynical public. In the end the society itself becomes corrupt. Not only is it the path of least resistance, it is also the path taken by the very figures held up as role models—the "movers and shakers" of the society.