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There's three kinds of corruption:

- apparent when there isn't (false positive - mistaken)

- apparent when there is (obvious)

- not apparent when there is (false negative - not obvious)

I'd define corruption as a pattern of putting profit/loss considerations ahead of public interests. Other than personal ethics, this is a really hard thing to control for because it goes to why people want to be public servants and what are their interests/relationships.

There's something to be said for lifetime appointments: "we trust you enough to give you this job and pay you enough to be comfortable for the rest of your life. If you clearly violate that trust, we'll impeach you and you will never again be trusted."

I could be wrong, but I don't think federal judges and Supreme Court Justices participate in the revolving door. Supreme Court Justices are deeply political, but they're not sell-outs like Chris Dodd.

Is the first kind really corruption then?

Corruption can be stopped when voters & consumers have more power than the politicians or their backers. No one can force you to vote a certain way or buy a certain product. You punish "public" "servants" by restricting their power, i.e. voting them out if they break the law or not enforcing the law equally.

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