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LilCosmo's avatar

Do you believe the majority of people who work at a certain job (police officer, insurance broker, banker for example) are corrupt?

Asked by LilCosmo (1809 points ) January 10th, 2014

If yes, what’s the job and what experience(s) have led you to think so?

Inspired by some of the responses in this question.

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17 Answers

LilCosmo's avatar

I’ll put it out there and say that I believe that a majority of executives with large banking firms are corrupt and on the take from somewhere.

Juels's avatar

The problem is the corrupt people are the ones that make headlines. So, for the most part, no. I don’t think the majority is corrupt. My main exception is politicians. I wouldn’t trust any of them.

tedibear's avatar

I agree with Juels. We hear about the corrupt people in those occupations, not about the huge percentage that do their jobs with honesty and integrity.

kritiper's avatar

No. More accurate to say to what degree of dishonesty or corruption any given person is, since that would vary for sure!

CWOTUS's avatar

I tend to disagree completely with your premise, but it may be that we define “corruption” in different ways.

I think, for example, that a lot of our systems are skewed to produce results of a kind that are detrimental to our own and our companies’ long term survival and best interest. For example, a CEO whose bonus is based upon short term increases in stock price will naturally seek to increase the value / price of his stock in the short term. That may not be a good long-term measure of company success, however, especially if the executive feels his job to be in jeopardy in the shorter term, so he may jettison long term spending and investment plans to boost stock price “now” at the expense of future earnings.

There are a lot of “perverse incentives” like this built into our society. Many police departments obtain increased federal funding for increases in “drug-related” arrests and convictions, so it should be no surprise that “drug crime” increases (as evidenced by increased numbers in arrest and conviction records), asset forfeitures to police departments increase, enabling additional hiring and perpetuation of the cycle.

As for bankers, when the federal rules that prevented them from “red-lining” localities that gave them poor experience with lending intersected with additional federal guarantees of loan repayment, and lenders are already rewarded with “origination fees” and regular interest payments, is it any wonder that lending increased past the point of sanity? “Perverse incentive” is a “corruption equivalent”.

thorninmud's avatar

Hey, nice question you got there. It’d be a shame if someone came along and modded it, you know what I’m sayin’?

tom_g's avatar

Possibly relevant? (or not)

jca's avatar

Civil servant lol. Believe me there is an accurate assessment.

YARNLADY's avatar

No more than the entire general population. People who are against stealing think nothing of taking office supplies home for personal use.

cookieman's avatar

My grandfather was a florist. His flower shop was actually a front for a booking (gambling) operation.

My uncle’s pharmaceutical business was involved in a variety of illegal activity.

My friend Don, a comedian, got caught up in credit card fraud.

Both a furniture store and a card shop in the city I grew up in were fronts for the local mobster types.

A friend of my wife’s owned a shoe store which was also a front for gambling ring.

My friend Chris’ dad owned a canteen truck that sold, in addition to sandwiches, select items that :ahem:: fell off a truck.

In my experience, “corruption” and dishonesty is not confined to one profession.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

No, and I feel that people who do see corruption around every corner are projecting their own corrupt tendencies—what they believe that they would do given the chance, or position. When these people reveal themselves, I watch them, distrust them, and want nothing to do with them. They are either paranoid, or themselves corrupt.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

No of course not, but there are bad apples in every lot, and the media loves to sensationalize on them.

marinelife's avatar

Not at all. Most? No, in my experience most people are good and hard working.

funkdaddy's avatar

I don’t know if I’d go as far as “corrupt”, but I do think most people attracted to law enforcement are predisposed to some level of enjoying the power that comes with the position. You’ve essentially decided that as an individual you are better equipped than your peers to enforce laws on them.

That could be noble, and you think it’s your calling to protect and help people. But how many police officers have really treated you as an equal in your encounters? Imagine if you responded with the same attitude you receive in a situation that you could either be arrested or let go. You are essentially expected to show respect without receiving any and so I think the job attracts people who will feed on that respect but also on that power.

I get that it’s dangerous and unappreciated work. So I think it attracts people that are getting other perks out of it.

Paradox25's avatar

Defense lawyers and the CIA tend to get a bad rap. I don’t think that I could honestly state professions where I think people are the most corrupt. Too much power can go to anybody’s head, as in the case of executives or politicians, but sometimes even fast food workers do unethical things too.

alphabetpony92's avatar

Very good question. Yes, I believe they are, namely psychiatrists, teachers and journalists. My experiences with these people is that not only are they mostly useless, but they’ve also corrupted me and caused me harm at the same time.

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