In philosophy there are two opposing points of view on corruption and its regulation in economics. These ideas (to some extent) can be applied to governmental sphere. However, it is impossible to choose one of two theoretical perspectives to describe the Congress and the Senate of the USA: elements of both viewpoints are necessary.
To begin with, from my point of view, Berle and Means were right pointing out humans’ inclination to care primarily about personal interests. Psychologically the majority of people are mainly focused on their priorities in life and not on commonweal. Members of the government, except from being governors, are people. This means, they also think about themselves before others. Berle and Means also emphasized the necessity of control and regulation. I agree with them in this also due to the fact that people need some limitations in order to control their negative actions. For instance, the activity of the US government (and each of its members) is regulated by the US Constitution.
Theoretical perspective of Manne is also of current interest if we talk about government. Apart from regulations specified by law (the Constitution in case of the US government), public scrutiny also contributes to the control of power. Members of the government constantly need to create and maintain positive perception of them; they are afraid to have their public image ruined and this serves as an additional regulating measure of their behavior.
Having a choice of two theories, I am inclined to choose Berele and Means’ ideas. I would like to be idealistic and believe that fear of being accused and deprived of power is stronger than pursuing own benefits, however experience proves the opposite. Regarding other people in a group I belong to, they have different view points on government and its regulation. Nevertheless, as far as I am concerned, the majority would agree with theory of Berele and Means.
Pacces, A. M. (2010). The Law and Economics of Corporate Governance: Changing Perspectives. Glos: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd
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Posted by: Selina Hargett