EDITORIAL: Russia, for Sale

EDITORIAL

Russia, for Sale

One of the most hilarious Russophile notions we’ve yet encountered is the way they attempt to attack Transparency International’s international index of corruption by claiming it is only a “perceptions” index and only places Russia at the uncivilized bottom of its list because of anti-Russian bias — as if all the talk about corruption in Russia were nothing but hot air and not based on any measurable reality.

TI needs no defense from us. It is a world renown organization of international objective scholars with unimpeachable credentials that provides an essential monitoring service.

But still, it’s genuinely pleasurable for us to watch the expressions on the faces of these idiot Russophiles change when they see a report like the one that aired on Russia Today, of all places, recently.   Perhaps by accident, the Russian Interior Ministry decided to admit, and RT decided to report, that the average size of a bribe in Putin’s Russia has increased by a stunning 700% in just the past year.

In other words, the forces of corruption in Putin’s Russia are not receding, they are going hog wild.

There’s a tremendous irony, of course, in the Interior Ministry reporting on corruption statistics because, as former parliamentarian Vladimir Ryzhkov writes, they are a source of corruption not a limit on it. He recounts:

One instance in the village of Sagra in the Sverdlovsk Region is a shining example. The police were called but failed to respond when it became clear that they would have to face a gang that was armed to the teeth. Had they been professionals, they would have arrived immediately, confronted the gang, and put them behind bars. Instead, they let the battle play out and showed up three hours later when it was safe. It is a perfect illustration of how the reform has failed because it was misguided from the start.

In other words, many Russians with justification have more fear of the police than they do of criminals.

But most of all, if they have any sense, Russians fear their fellow citizens, in all walks of life.  Russian corruption is spiraling out of control for one simple reason:  Russians are corrupt and proud of it.  Corruption of every type, from moral to financial, dominates all aspects of Russian society, and the fish rots from the head.

Russians turn a blind eye to the shameless personal corruption of Vladimir Putin, their supreme leader.  Putin had diverted billions of dollars from the federal treasury into his own pockets, billions more towards building a lavish network of personal palaces for himself and his cronies to live in, and still more billions towards a corrupt continuation of the cold war and a brutal repression of basic democratic values.

Now, corruption is the dominant force in Russian life.  Just as in Soviet times, it presents and insurmountable drag on the national economy, preventing it from being competitive.  And so many Russians benefit from it that they are unwilling to do anything to change it.

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50 responses to “EDITORIAL: Russia, for Sale

  1. Pingback: Russian Arms: Bad Quality and Overpriced « WesternDefenseStudiesInstitute

  2. could that not be interpreted as a sign that bribetaking is becoming riskier in Russia, hence the larger amount of money necessary to convince an official to take the bribe?

    • And fewer people can afford a bribe, so bribery is becoming less widespread.

      • But AT, I thought you said the average Russian had seen massive increases in their personal wealth?

        Wouldn’t that mean they could afford to pay much bigger bribes?

        Com on AT, which is it? Are Russians prospering or are they too poor to pay bribes? You can’t have it both ways.

        • Definitely, no rise in wealth of 700% a year in Russia. Here I agree with you Andrew: either one should say Russian’s wealth increased so dramatically (which would not be accurate) or that the bribes became more expensive in real terms and, hence, more risky to offer and to take. Definiely, you cannot have it both ways.

  3. @jon,
    > hence the larger amount of money necessary to convince an official
    > totake the bribe?

    The point is that the number of corruption cases had increased — not only amount of money per bribe.

    @AT,
    You are speaking nonsense. Corruption simply starts to affect more and more layers of population, it would never come to the point where bribes would stop to be popular.

    • Garnet, not y9u are not reading the article, as it says:

      the average size of a bribe in Putin’s Russia has increased by a stunning 700% in just the past year

      How can corruption affect more and more layers of population if the average size of the bribe is growing?

      • @AT, thanks, I see now, I misread word “bribe” as “bribes” thinking that article speaks about total amount of stolen money.

        Even so, your conclusion still doesn’t make sense. If it ever happens that people would be afraid to bring their money, thugs would simply decrease price. It is capitalism. At least, as it is understood in Russia.

        Africa is even more poor than Russia, yet the level of corruption there is skyrocketing.

        A nation as broken as Russia surely will find it’s way to keep itself in dirt.

        • Garnet, capitalism — as it is understood by those who have brains — is a system based, among other things, on such principles as (i) correlation between risk and return; and (ii) the law of supply and demand.

          The first says that if the expected return on some activity (e.g. selling drugs, providing services in exchange for bribes, investing money in the DR of the Congo) is higher than average returns on most other activities (e.g. selling tomatoes, providing laundry services, investing money in your Credit Union savings account), then such a high-return activity must be riskier. An increase in “the average size of a bribe in … by a stunning 700% in just the past year” means that returns to corrupt bureaucrats have encreased accordingly, so bribes became more like selling drugs than like selling tomatoes. There is more risk in taking or offering bribes, which is a good thing.

          The second says that price is a function of supply and demand. Price goes up (i) if demand goes down and supply does not and/or (ii) if supply goes down and demand does not. So if the price of a bribe goes up, then either demand for services provided in exchange for bribes went down or supply of services offers for bribes decreases. Its also a good thing.

          The same law says that the more expensive something is, the less demand there is for it — more people buy Toyotas than Bentleys, just because fewer people have the money to buy a Bentley. Thus, from being Toyotas, which everyone rides, bribes in Russia became more like Bentleys reserved for a much smaller market. This is also a good thing.

          Africa is undoubtedly much more corrupt than Russia. The first things I experienced upon arrival in Kinshasa was (i) an attempt to extort $100 from me for a missing vaccination book (which I then found in my luggage, so the bribe request was declined) and (ii) an attempt to extort a $20 bribe from my driver for parking made by a soldier (the attempt was not successful, as it was quite a special vehicle). The more corrupt a society is the smaller is the average size of a bribe.

          • that is….(i) if demand goes UP and supply does not, of course.

          • Some countries in Africa probably are more corrupt than Russia but Russia chose a different standard which however fails to take the reality into account. She proudly declares herself as being among the most important countries in the world. She wants to make the ruble a reserve currency. She says Moscow will soon become the most important financial center in the world. She demands that the NATO ask her permission when admitting new countries. She insists on her right to be a member of the G-8. She blackmails Europe with her gas and her atomic bombs. Etc. etc. etc.

            But how is she really different from the Congo Republic that you mentioned? The bribes are higher and she has nuclear weapons. Everything else seems to be similar.

            • Comparing Russia to Congo:

              Is Russia’s HIV/AIDS problem worse than Africa’s?

              http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/09/08/is_russias_hivaids_problem_worse_than_africas

              One quote:

              “The region is home to a quarter of all injection drug users in the world (3.7 million)”

              It’s not about Congo.

              • …and you are calling me a troll? The topic of this thread is corruption. Did you publish this in anticipation of an angry reaction or a correction. Do I need to explain the low base effect and its influence on growth rates to you here? — I suggest we wait for a topic on AIDS or on comparing Russia to the DRC on a broad variety of issues.

            • RV, first, I’ve never been to the Republic of the Congo, just to the DRC. Second, Russia should definitely use a different standard than the DRC if it wants to curb corruption — which is totally on a different level in Russia than it is in the DRC today. Third, the point of my post was that the more corrupt the country is, the larger is the average size of the bribe, so a growing average size of a bribe is a good sign.

              • So AT, you say the more corrupt a country the larger the average size of a bribe is, and that Russia has a growing average size of bribe, and that’s a good thing?

                You really a re a beneficiary of corruption aren’t you

                • Thank you for your correction: the more corrupt the country is, the SMALLER is the average size of the bribe:

                  – As you point out yourself (and I agree), the smaller the bribe is the less risky it is.
                  – The higher the level of corruption the less risky and the more ubiqutous the bribes are.

                  Hence, in a more corrupt country you would expect more smaller bribes, while it is reasonable to think that a less corrupt country will have fewer larger bribes.

                  By the same virtue, it is difficult for a more corrupt country to achieve an increase in an average size of a bribe, as the large base of multiple smaller bribes will make the contribution of any incremental large bribe to the average very small.

                  At least we finally agree. Now, you should help me explain to Garnet that the average size of a bribe and the corruption level are inversely related.

                  Hence, in a more corrupt country, the av

          • AT says The second says that price is a function of supply and demand. Price goes up (i) if demand goes down and supply does not and/or (ii) if supply goes down and demand does not. So if the price of a bribe goes up, then either demand for services provided in exchange for bribes went down or supply of services offers for bribes decreases. Its also a good thing.

            Actually is demand goes down and supply does not decrease, you tend to see a collapse in the value of the “service” or “goods”, not much of an expert are you?

            • Thanks again! You are flattering me by reading my posts so carefully. Yes, I mistyped and corrected this mistake three minutes after I posted the original message:

              See above:

              that is….(i) if demand goes UP and supply does not, of course.

              • Garnet asked me not to spend too much time on my posts, so I hope you won’t mind continuing to proofread for me in the future. Thanks much!

    • “it would never come to the point where bribes would stop to be popular.”
      If this is so, then God help Russia!

      • So you say that the same number of Russians can afford to pay $10,000 for something they paid only $1,000 last year. The living standards must have gone up tremendously since I was there about a year ago. At the same time, this site claims Russians are becoming poorer each year. Either one or both of these statements must be a lie.

        • @AT, thank you for «educating» me (and everyone else on this site) above with the basic laws of the market. Perhaps it’s your thinking that everyone here is dumb with the sole exception of yourself. I hope it didn’t take you much time to write the comment.

          Your imprudent statements to me and accusation of LR staff being liars regarding the subject evidently prove you to be a retarded pro-russian ape.

          As a side note, for the sake of exposing your nonsense, I would still remind you that the same article didn’t say that total amount of bribes had decreased. It is probably too difficult for your brainy head, but “Average size of the bribe went up 700%” != “All bribes went up 700%” != “Small bribes went up 700%”. Average doesn’t mean all.

          The statement about average bribe going 700% up just in one year simply means that corruption became a standard on all possible levels of society and people ceased to fear any persecution — even largest possible amount of money per bribe became normal. Repeat for you: it doesn’t mean that less-priced bribes ceased to exit.

          • Garnet, your language mentioning retardation and apes suggests that you may be dumber and less civilized than an average citizen, so little education won’t hurt you. In any case, I used laws of economics to prove my point in my post. You use insults. What can I say. For each his/her own.

            Yes, I guess, a median bribe would be a better statistic, and the average amount does not mean all. The value of the average, however, is correlated with the values of all the constituents part of the average. This supports my argument, rather than your conclusion that ” that corruption became a standard on all possible levels of society”. If this was the case, the average size of the bribe would decline, as there would be exponentially many more smaller bribes.

            • YOU GUESS??? YOU OFFER NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DOCUMENT YOUR STATEMENT!! ARE YOU INSANE?? WHO IN GOD’S NAME DO YOU THINK YOU ARE THAT YOUR GUESSES HAVE MEANING?

              • OK, no guessing about it: a median bribe would be a better statistic for sure, as it would directly indicate the value of the majority of bribes paid in Russia. How do suggest I should document that the median gives you a better idea of the bribe size than the average? Isn’t it erm self-evident?

              • You sound pretty mad.

                May I suggest something?

                1. (Re-)Ban “AT”.
                2. Relax.

                • Sure, but don’t deny us the pleasure of screaming at him a little first ;)

                  • …and to ban me is your full “sovereign” right. If you think that my arguments lack any substance and if you are convinced I write here not in good faith, I think you should definitely consider doing this. I wonder, however, how this would look if you don’t ban Mccusa, Bohdan, Andrew and the majority of other everyday commentators who fit Robert’s definition of trolling precisely.

                  • Whatever you like.

  4. The rise of the average bribe is in PRICE, not in substance. That means the amount the corrupter has had to pay has risen sevenfold, not the amount of actual bribes risen. That means that people have become more weary of accepting bribes, seven times more weary, which is a GOOD sign for the state of corruption in Russia. Oh, and cops fearing gangs is nothing new. In the world, I mean. The same thing happens in American and European slums as well as Russian ones. In a lot of places in America, for example Detroit, New York and Philadelphia, are a lot more dangerous zones for gang violence than Moscow. And the police fear the gangs just as well there as they do here.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    Do you realize that there is NOT ONE SINGLE SCRAP of substance in your “comment” besides your own totally anonymous and ridiculous opinion?

    The fact that bribe-takers are able to dramatically raise their rates means, YOU ABSOLUTELY ILLITERATE GORILLA, that demand for bribe takers is RISING. This is the law of economics. More people want access to bribes, more people are using them as a means of getting what they want, so the bribe-takers can and do raise their rates.

    If Russians did not want to pay bribes, and offered fewer, then the price would FALL, not rise, you HYSTERICAL INBRED IGNORAMUS. Bribe-takers would have to lower their rates in order to get people to accept.

    Please go back to grammar school and learn to read and write before you start trying to talk about economic principles you cannot begin to understand.

    • LR, I was waiting for this one: you insist that the price of a bribe is going up, as demand for bribes is rising. Demand is the function of (i) the number of people who want the service provided in exchange for a bribe (i.e. “quantity of demand”) and/or (ii) the amount of money that these people have (i.e. demand per se — one cannot pay a bribe if one lacks money to do this).

      You claim — based on anecdotal evidence — that the Russian population is in decline. I argue — based on statistics — that it is stagnant, so the first factor does not apply according to both of us. Further, you argue — I am not sure based on what — that the Russian’s wealth is declining or stagnant. I argue — based on statistics — that it is going up, but for sure it did not go up 700% in one year. So the second factor — according to both of us — cannot explain the 700% annnual bribe price increase. Hence, your argument does not appear to be correct.

      Also, for price to go up as a result of demand increase, supply should increase at a lower rate. This in itself is positive news, isn’t it?

      • Also, about your argument that “if Russians did not want to pay bribes, and offered fewer, then the price would FALL, not rise” (i.e. price decrease as a result of a decline in demand):

        A bribe is what economists call “unsought goods”, i.e. they are in the same category as funeral services and tax preparation. There is no question of consumers “wanting” to pay a bribe. They pay bribes only if they have to. Demand for bribes, therefore, cannot be lowered without eliminating the supply of bribes, say through creating systems of checks and balances and through promoting transparency. Therefore, practically, there cannot exist a situation when supply of bribes remains constant and demand for them goes down.

      • Anecdotal evidence????????????? You yourself ADMIT that Russia doesn’t rank in the to 100 countries of the world for life expectancy, and you think Russia’s population might be stable or rising?????????? You should be in an asylum!! Whole huge swaths of Siberian Russia are GHOST TOWNS, you idiot. The government of Russia is BRIBING people to have children (so much for patriotism!). Russia has horrific fatality rates for smoking, fire, drinking, automobile crashes, and on and on and on. And instead of working to achieve reform, MORONS like you rationalize failure and help it to continue. You even try to claim, like a HEROIN ADDICT, that a soaring average bribe level is a GOOD thing.

        You are the reason Russia is a failed state once again on the verge of collapse, because she has only the likes of you for her “defenders”.

        • LR, yes anecdotal evidence and now irrelevant facts. By the way, I don’t think the verb ADMIT applied to me is the right one. I never DENY Russian problems. YOU ARE RIGHT: (i) whole huge swaths of Siberian Russia are GHOST TOWNS; (ii) the government of Russia is BRIBING people to have children; (iii) Russia has horrific fatality rates for smoking, fire, drinking, automobile crashes, and (iv) on and on and on. YET, the Russian population shows a SMALL natural decline, which is more than compensated for by immigration. As a result, the Russian population is stable.

          LR, this is exactly my point: Russia has enough problems to criticise, and its comparison with developed countries is not favorable. Why must you base your argument on a factually incorrect statement (Russia’s population is in decline) to criticize (i), (iii) and (iv) — I see nothing wrong with (ii). And you should not deny that in those Russia is making significant progress. This way the arguments will be much more mature.

          • @AT, I must admit you are an epic kind of a moron and a liar combined. You are either trolling this place or got some real mental problem.

            First, here’s an example for you demonstrating my words above regarding corruption and bribes. It seems you didn’t fully understand even after I explained it all above, because you still speak your irrelevant and erroneous nonsense, so example will be even more simpler — even a dog would understand if only it needed to.

            Let’s say we had this picture of corruption in 2010:
            2$, 4$, 6$

            E.g. 3 bribes, 2 + 4 + 6 = 12$ sum, 12 / 3 = 4$ avg.

            Now we have this in 2011:
            2$, 4$, 6$, 10$, 30$, 40$, 50$, 55$, 55$

            E.g. 9 (three times more) bribes, 2 + 4 + 6 + 10 + 30 + 40 + 50 + 55 + 55 = 252$ sum, 252 / 9 = 28$ avg.

            28 / 4 = 7 — 700%

            As you probably can finally see, the average size of the bribe increased 700% while total amount of bribes tripled and total amount of bribed money multiplied 21 times. All of this with original 2$, 4$ and 6$ cheap bribes staying the same.

            Now just one question, how much one must be retarded in order not to understand such simple things? So much for the “median curves”, @AT.

            Second, your claim about increase of Russian population is even more blatant and ignorant. Russia increases it’s population using illegal immigration replacing original population with uncivilized third-world illegals who would never become first-class citizens let alone would be able to preserve culture. Here you go, retard:

            http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fontanka.ru%2F2011%2F07%2F28%2F128%2F

            To sum it up, it is your arguments which are irrelevant. You are the enemy of Russia and it is impossible to talk sense to you. Go away.

            • Garnet,

              Re: First — Your example can work only if the volume of the “bribe business” could grow really dramatically within a very limited timeframe. Your calculations are based on the assumption that the number of bribes in Russia increases by 300% and the cumulative volume of bribes grows by 2100% just in one year. Do you yourself think that such a change is possible, especially in the absence of any major known event that could completely overhaul Russia’s “bribe industry” last year? Also, try to replicate same example with figures that are closer to the reality. Say, every tenth Russian gives a bribe every year. This is about 14 million bribes a year. Say in Year 1, the average size of a bribe is 1K, resulting in the total annual bribe market volume of $14bn. For your example to work, the number of bribes needs to increase from 14M to 42M bribes a year, and the total volume to go up from 14bn to $294bn. Just in one year. Without any population growth. With a modest economy growth. With no major event to trigger this. Is this reasonable?

              Re: Second – Two reactions to your response: 1) in my comments, I was talking about the quantitative change in the number of Russian citizens based on legal immigration statistics. How is your argument about the quality of illegal immigrants supposed to expose my conclusions as “blatant and ignorant”?

              2) What class of citizens do you belong to, Garnet? Are you a bearer of some pure culture that needs to be preserved? Are you civilized? Are you first-world? We should agree to disagree on this, Garnet. I do not support sorting people by class. The United States is by far the most popular destination for immigrants in the world. Both legal and illegal, civilized and uncivilized, first-, second- or third-world. These immigrants constitute strength of this country. They change its culture continuously, which makes this country’s culture stronger as well. I believe the same applies to Russia.

              Re: Moron, liar, trolling, got some real mental problem etc. – well, this really answers my question whether you are a civilized, first-world bearer of a pure culture that needs to be preserved.

              Go away? You wish.

              • AT,

                > Your calculations are based on the assumption
                > that the number of bribes in Russia increases by 300%
                > and the cumulative volume of bribes grows by 2100%
                > just in one year.

                It is 200% and 2000%, AT. Don’t tell now you were in haste too :-)

                > Do you yourself think that such a change is possible,

                You first provide a real-life example for your words, then we talk about reality of mine. So far, there was no credible source or at least article (like I’ve provided to support my words) from you whatsoever.

                > especially in the absence of any major known event that could
                > completely overhaul Russia’s

                Some Russian KGB ape-official needed money for another palace for himself.

                > in my comments, I was talking about the quantitative change in
                > the number of Russian citizens based on legal immigration statistics.

                Not surprisingly, you are lying again. First, nowhere did you provide a link to support your claims.

                Second, the actual change would be from births — not from “legal immigration”, because legal immigration to Russia is almost non-existent. Here’s 2011 article speaking about 2005 situation in legal immigration: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Flit.lib.ru%2Fm%2Fmartxjanow_w_s%2Fskolxkonaselenijanuzhnorossii.shtml

                Quote from there:

                > The total number of migrants to Russia from CIS
                > countries falls from year to year.
                For example, in 2005,
                > according to official Goskomstat positive net migration
                > into Russia from CIS countries and abroad amounted
                > to only 107 thousand people, which is two times less than in 2000.

                Third, the wikipedia article never talks about increase from legal or illegal immigrations, it always simply provides a total figure without explanation. If you based your claim on it, then you simply again proved yourself to be a retard.

                > Re: Moron, liar, trolling, got some real mental problem etc. –
                > well, this really answers my question whether you are a civilized,

                AT, don’t hide behind the mask of your “politeness” pretending to be “smart” and thinking that if you talk lies and nonsense politely they somehow would become truth and reason. For any sane person it is already obvious how civilized and what class of citizen you are.

                • Garnet, you have a problem with math:252/12 =21 =2100%. Well, if you assume that a 2100% in any economic factor on a national scale is probable in one year without a known trigger event, I will just let other readers to make opinions of your level of judgement. Of course, it is theoretically possible that the number of cases of bribes tripled in one year, and the cumulative volume of bribes increased by the factor of 21 in the absence of any population growth or a matching growth in wealth. Maybe Martians gave Russians loads of money to use on bribes. Everything is possible, but probability of this is, well, not high.

                  I have provided the statistical figures on immigration and natural population change on this site repeatedly from the only organization that tracks and analyzes Russian primary demographics data: http://www.gks.ru/wps/wcm/connect/rosstat/rosstatsite.eng/figures/population/

                  I am sorry that I sound too smart and too polite to you.

                • 252/12=21=2100%. Sigh.

                • AT, I have no further intention to read your never-ending stream of polite lies and insults, so to keep it simple.

                  > Maybe Martians gave Russians loads of
                  > money to use on bribes.

                  1. My example was purely theoretical. It could be as such: 2$, 4$, 6$, 20$. 32 / 4 = 8 — here you have your 700% with 4 bribes and less than 3x increase with 20$ being some big corruption deal committed on higher official levels.

                  2. 95% of Russians don’t pay “high-priced” bribes — those are the cases of crime being committed only on higher official levels. If taken into account, 700% increase becomes much more possible.

                  > I have provided the statistical figures
                  > on immigration and natural population
                  > change on this site

                  Even in your provided link the population is in small decline. This is close to truth because Russia is failing to sustain it’s population even through illegal immigration.

                  • Garnet, whatever your intentions are, my intention is to expose the deficiency of your analysis to other readers. WHATEVER theoretical example you will use, you will end up with a problem. With your last one, first, I am not sure how an increase from (i) 4 avg. to (ii) 8 avg. gives you a 700% increase — its a 100% increase (see your Wiki link). The problem with your new argument is that the new “incremental” mega-bribe exceeds the cumulative size of ALL the previous year’s bribes by 67%. In the more realistic example I quoted before, the size of such a bribe would be $23bn. Or it could be 1,000 mega-bribes of $23 million, or more than three $23 million bribes every business day of the year. And to achieve the 700% increase in the average, the incremental mega-bribe needs to exceed the cumulative volume of all the previous year’s bribes by 867% or people should start paying, say three $135 million bribes every business day of the year. What happened last year to make mega-bribes so common that was not there in the previous year? Does this sound reasonable to you?

                    For all I know, you may not talk to me or you may continue to write your never-ending impolite lies, but you cannot argue with math.

                    On population: yes, duh, exactly: as I said, a small natural decline, more or less compensated for by net immigration. Where exactly in this thread did I argue there was a population growth? A declining or stagnant population supports my point (please read the original post).

                    By the way, you of course realized that you made the same common mistake/ used the same common colloquialism: “28/4 = 7 = 700%” in your earlier message, and then chastised me for doing exactly the same saying its never too late to learn (which I accept). Is this your idea of debate ethics? I guess, unjustified accusation of “lies” falls in the same category.

            • ^ The percentage above is 600% of course, mistyped it in my haste. The example is clear to any sane person nonetheless.

              • Garnet, while my full response is awaiting moderation, I should say that your example is not mathematically correct. Your calculations are based on the assumption that the number of bribes in Russia increases by 300% and the cumulative volume of bribes grows by 2100% just in one year. Do you yourself think that such a change is possible, especially in the absence of any major known event that could completely overhaul Russia’s “bribe industry” last year? You won’t be able to construct an example, which does not require a similar volume increase.

              • No problem, its a common mistake or rather colloquialism many people erroneously use. I’ve made it myself. Your example points out a 2000% increase in the total volume of bribes, not 2100% increase as I initially said. The mathematical problem with any of your example is that the incremental annual increase will have to be tremendous to explain a 700% increase in the average, regardless of whether you assume a small number of very large incremental bribes or a large number of smaller incremental bribes. Such a change just cannot happen in one year if there is no (i) major population increase or (ii) major increase in the population’s wealth. There are two reasonable explanations:

                (i) smaller bribes became riskier or less economically feasible for risk takers, and they are taking fewer larger bribes now;

                (ii) the police make more focus on larger bribes, and fewer smaller bribes enter the police statistics. If this is the right explanation, then (a) no one knows what happened with the overall number/ size of the bribes and (b) the police are finding more efficient use of their finite resources, which is also not a bad thing.

                • Moron, larger bribes are much more risky.

                  Of course, given that you do a lot of business in Russia, by your own account, I am sure it is in your interest to try and cover up your corrupt activities.

                  • Don’t be so hard on yourself, you are not a complete moron, and that’s exactly what I am arguing: the riskier the bribe becomes the larger it gets.

  5. 700% Growth in police statistics. I.e. investigated and punished.
    Thats a sign of real (yet hopeles) corruption fighting, isn’t it?

  6. As the truth itself have never interested Russians their controversy always has the type of fine art and the last dab must be of the winner`s.They chose the utility ideology of the moment.

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