Standards and Expectations
In American society most of us have good health, enough to eat, and a roof over our heads. We take for granted that we have a system of laws and regulations to deal with any eventuality. Our system is based on the assumption that free people will be honest in government. This is its greatest strength and it's greatest weakness.
In my mind it does not take into consideration those people that see this as a self-serving opportunity. They either do not understand or do not care that distorting the system for their own ends will inevitably lead to a collapse of the system. These corruptions run the gamut from giving a "friend" a break at the DMV by erasing a traffic violation so he can get lower rates, not doing what you know is right for someone because you don't like their "attitude" that morning, right up to kickbacks for giving a service not earned.
The I've got mine! and, Hell I'll be dead by the time that hurts anyone attitude has become commonplace.
Human society has had corrupt politicians for as long as we have had government. The system in America is no different. From Tammany Hall, to the Iran/Contra scandal, we have dealt with and overcome these setbacks. Even so our democracy is fragile, as it is dependent on the individual honesty of each of its citizens.
Everybody Does it
"Everyone's doing it", "that's how things work", "Its just this little bit", "they have so much money they'll never notice", " and my personal favorite "they owe me" or how about "they screwed me and I'm getting mine back". I am sure you could ad many more.
It is the multiplication of people that think this way that concerns me here. It seems more...