Corruption” is a very open concept. In my book A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption, I define it as the maldistribution of federal resources, which narrows it to the national government and focuses on dollars and cents. This is not a comprehensive account of corruption, but it does speak to a unique aspect of the subject. I am going to stick to that definition here, but for the purposes of this essay amplify it a bit. Corruption is the maldistribution of federal resources to vested interests. These are groups or factions that can make some compelling political claim to federal benefits without having a very good civic republican claim. A republic is supposed to operate on behalf of the people at large, and because of their political connections, these vested interests are able to draw resources from...


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