Fixing Bribery

What’s one way to fix the problem of bribery that has run rampant throughout… well everywhere? A policy pointed out by Bruce Schneier’s blog looks to be effective and simple, legalize the giving of bribes:

Under the current law, discussed in some detail in the next section, once a bribe is given, the bribe giver and the bribe taker become partners in crime. It is in their joint interest to keep this fact hidden from the authorities and to be fugitives from the law, because, if caught, both expect to be punished. Under the kind of revised law that I am proposing here, once a bribe is given and the bribe giver collects whatever she is trying to acquire by giving the money, the interests of the bribe taker and bribe giver become completely orthogonal to each other. If caught, the bribe giver will go scot free and will be able to collect his bribe money back. The bribe taker, on the other hand, loses the booty of bribe and faces a hefty punishment.

Not only does this policy take away the incentive of covering up the fact a bribe was accepted but it also tosses in motivation to rat the bribe taker out. I like it. Obviously such a proposal will never likely be passed into law anywhere as that would go against the self-interest of those creating laws but it’s still a nice proposal.