Re: privatization in the third world (was NEWS: Genoa riots)

From: Alejandro Dubrovsky (
Date: Mon Jul 23 2001 - 01:09:36 MDT

* <> [010723 14:23]:
> In a message dated 7/22/01 10:33:07 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> (re Argentina)
> > It was in fact difficult to
> > find any part of their government in which corruption, bribes, "fixing"
> > contracts, and simply criminal activities pursued from the comforts of
> > public office hasn't been the daily routine.
> This kind of thing has come up in several recent "privatizing" countries,
> OTTOMH, Russia, Peru, and Argentina. Something is wrong, or incomplete,
> about the privatization procedure. Corruption requires discretionary power
> on the part of the government; no power, no corruption.
> Privatization should reduce corruption, by reducing what's there to corrupt;
> the fact that it doesn't indicates the IMF isn't privatizing the right things.

I disagree. Government corruption IS decreasing (at least in Argentina) for
precisely the reason you offered (there's less there to corrupt. eg, no need to
bribe someone anymore to get a phone line installed), but the act of privatising
is creating new (once only though) opportunity for corruption. They just happen
to be very big, and therefore quite damaging to the financial state of the
nation. (btw, there isn't much that hasn't been privatised in argentina)

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