Nothing more ridiculous than AMLO's promise to fight Mexico's 'corruption'

Andrés Manuel López-Obrador won his presidential election in Mexico on a promise to fight "corruption."

Just like all the others.  This gives credence to the political analysis that claims that Mexicans voted for this guy on a roll of the dice after many years of "We've tried A," "We've tried B..."

Now they're trying him.

The problem comes when you take a gander at how he says he's going to fight corruption, known in some Mexican contexts as "la mordida" or bite.  Get a load of how naïve this man is, as described in today's New York Times:

The chronic ills that Mr. López Obrador railed against, propelling him to victory, now become his problems to solve.

Among them is corruption.  On the campaign trail, he was short on details about how he intended to confront the problem, but said he would lead by example: His professed honesty and ethical cleanliness, he said, would flow downward through the ranks of his government and help change the nation’s culture.

What an idiot.  He really thinks that in a culture as steeped in corruption as Mexico, everyone will suddenly want to follow his example and not be corrupt?  What it sounds like is that he will enforce ideological conformity and bust anyone who's not of the same socialist views for "corruption" while leaving his own corrupt people untouched.  There are always just so many people you can arrest, and when corruption is rampant in a system, you pick and choose – which is its own form of corruption.

The "lead by example" idiocy is also in contradiction with a basic understanding of how corruption is fostered in a society.  It's a function of too many rules and too many loopholes that invite exploitation by bureaucrats.  It never seems like corruption at the time, but it rapidly slides downhill as time goes on and advantages are recognized and maximized.  It's the perverse incentives and the unintended consequences.  Want to shut down vineyards to prevent alcoholism, as the Chilean pre-free-market government once tried to do?  Rest assured there will be corrupt payoffs to keep a certain percentage of them open.  That is what we mean by incentives to corruption, and when you have enough well meaning rules and laws, as Chile did and Mexico does, you get amazing opportunities for corruption.  Oh, how well meaning such laws always are, and how inviting they are of payoffs, different laws for different people, and selective enforcement!

Leading by example is going to go nowhere when bureaucrat rice bowls are at stake.  The way to get rid of corruption is to reduce the incentives and opportunities for corruption, because human nature is going to be what it is.  Socialists have never understood human nature, so look forward to nothing coming of such a plan.

Then there's this, from another article in the New York Times:

He said he would fund his programs with the money the nation saves by eliminating corruption, a figure he places at tens of billions of dollars a year, a windfall some experts doubt will materialize.

Ah, yes: the old law enforcement as a means of getting the country rich.  Sounds like a plan.  In fact, the claim has been played many times before against corrupt bureaucrats, and never once has it panned out.  President Obama promised to tax the rich as his means of paying for his programs, and it didn't work out the way he thought it would.  I am also sure AMLO's going to shake down some billionaires for "corruption" to get them politically aligned with himself.  Mexico has a few of those, the same few, virtually always the same ones year after year, according to the Forbes list.  AMLO has seen how Vladimir Putin has shaken down the billies to consolidate control and we can probably count on some empires being broken up.  What we won't count on is new business empires forming in their place, given AMLO's socialist high-tax agenda.  All we will see is political enemies targeted, businesses broken up, and jobs lost.

No, that's not going to pay for anything because it never has.  Even the New York Times is skeptical of that one.

The net takeaway of this anti-corruption platform is that for all his good intentions,  AMLO hasn't got a clue.  Look for plenty of mischief to make up for it under this icky "Honest AMLO" banner.

Andrés Manuel López-Obrador won his presidential election in Mexico on a promise to fight "corruption."

Just like all the others.  This gives credence to the political analysis that claims that Mexicans voted for this guy on a roll of the dice after many years of "We've tried A," "We've tried B..."

Now they're trying him.

The problem comes when you take a gander at how he says he's going to fight corruption, known in some Mexican contexts as "la mordida" or bite.  Get a load of how naïve this man is, as described in today's New York Times:

The chronic ills that Mr. López Obrador railed against, propelling him to victory, now become his problems to solve.

Among them is corruption.  On the campaign trail, he was short on details about how he intended to confront the problem, but said he would lead by example: His professed honesty and ethical cleanliness, he said, would flow downward through the ranks of his government and help change the nation’s culture.

What an idiot.  He really thinks that in a culture as steeped in corruption as Mexico, everyone will suddenly want to follow his example and not be corrupt?  What it sounds like is that he will enforce ideological conformity and bust anyone who's not of the same socialist views for "corruption" while leaving his own corrupt people untouched.  There are always just so many people you can arrest, and when corruption is rampant in a system, you pick and choose – which is its own form of corruption.

The "lead by example" idiocy is also in contradiction with a basic understanding of how corruption is fostered in a society.  It's a function of too many rules and too many loopholes that invite exploitation by bureaucrats.  It never seems like corruption at the time, but it rapidly slides downhill as time goes on and advantages are recognized and maximized.  It's the perverse incentives and the unintended consequences.  Want to shut down vineyards to prevent alcoholism, as the Chilean pre-free-market government once tried to do?  Rest assured there will be corrupt payoffs to keep a certain percentage of them open.  That is what we mean by incentives to corruption, and when you have enough well meaning rules and laws, as Chile did and Mexico does, you get amazing opportunities for corruption.  Oh, how well meaning such laws always are, and how inviting they are of payoffs, different laws for different people, and selective enforcement!

Leading by example is going to go nowhere when bureaucrat rice bowls are at stake.  The way to get rid of corruption is to reduce the incentives and opportunities for corruption, because human nature is going to be what it is.  Socialists have never understood human nature, so look forward to nothing coming of such a plan.

Then there's this, from another article in the New York Times:

He said he would fund his programs with the money the nation saves by eliminating corruption, a figure he places at tens of billions of dollars a year, a windfall some experts doubt will materialize.

Ah, yes: the old law enforcement as a means of getting the country rich.  Sounds like a plan.  In fact, the claim has been played many times before against corrupt bureaucrats, and never once has it panned out.  President Obama promised to tax the rich as his means of paying for his programs, and it didn't work out the way he thought it would.  I am also sure AMLO's going to shake down some billionaires for "corruption" to get them politically aligned with himself.  Mexico has a few of those, the same few, virtually always the same ones year after year, according to the Forbes list.  AMLO has seen how Vladimir Putin has shaken down the billies to consolidate control and we can probably count on some empires being broken up.  What we won't count on is new business empires forming in their place, given AMLO's socialist high-tax agenda.  All we will see is political enemies targeted, businesses broken up, and jobs lost.

No, that's not going to pay for anything because it never has.  Even the New York Times is skeptical of that one.

The net takeaway of this anti-corruption platform is that for all his good intentions,  AMLO hasn't got a clue.  Look for plenty of mischief to make up for it under this icky "Honest AMLO" banner.