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Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Bill Steinman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

Over There

Our subject is usually corruption overseas. But it’s impossible to ignore the news these days from New Jersey. Arrested earlier this month — 44 people, including three mayors and two state legislators. So what’s the cause of all that alleged home-grown graft?

There are lessons from the Third World. The International Finance Corporation has said, “Cumbersome entry procedures are associated with more corruption, particularly in developing countries. Each procedure is a point of contact—an opportunity to extract a bribe. Analysis shows that burdensome entry regulations do not increase the quality of products, make work safer or reduce pollution. Instead, they constrain private investment; push more people into the informal economy; increase consumer prices; and fuel corruption.”

The same goes for New Jersey. The Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn said this week:

Sandy McClure, co-author of the book The Soprano State: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption, agrees that big government is a big reason behind the state’s corruption problem. “You have all these little authorities that everyone has to go to for permission,” she says. “Too much government means too many opportunities for officials looking to cash in. And there’s no way that the press can keep track of it all.”

Ms. McClure is right: The more extensive government’s reach, the more opportunities the governing class has to steal from and shake down the productive class. . .

When government gets too big and complicated for businesses to get their permits and approvals and funding honestly, the dishonest prosper. And the honest get fed up and flee.

William McGurn’s full column is here.

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Apropos of who-knows-what, we enjoyed this thought from Eric Hoffer’s Truth Imagined:

“Sheep never get used to life. They view anything that comes in sight as something outlandish and unprecedented. Though they are undeniably silly, there is something remarkably human about them. Their fear of loneliness is pathetic. One cannot help thinking that, like sheep, human beings herd together in tribes and nations and follow a leader because of their fear of life and their feeling of being eternal strangers in this world.”

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And this wisdom from Don Zimmer, former manager of the Boston Red Sox, after a 6-and-6 road trip: It could have gone either way.

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