Re: CK Lal's 'Absolute poverty corrupts absolutely' (State of the State, #208). That absolute poverty corrupts absolutely is a half-baked truth. The fact is that it is absolute corruption that breeds absolute poverty. Lal has got it the wrong way around. Had poverty been the cause of corruption, all (or a majority of) poor people must be corrupt. But we know that corruption is the privilege of the few rich and powerful people. As long as we are quoting Samuel Huntington, he also said that when economic opportunities are low, people use power to grab wealth, and when political opportunities are low, people use wealth to grab power. As for Lal's suggestion on raising the salary of civil servants, one must be aware that low salary may actually be the cause of corruption. High salaries are in no way a guarantee that corruption is removed. Simply taking away the 'cause' is not an answer to the problem. What happened to our corruption level after the 40 percent salary hike government introduced, under ADB pressure, a couple of years ago? Moreover, what would you do with 30,000 or so peons working in the government?
. We\'ve had to read over 100 issues of Nepali Times before getting an article from CK Lal (\'Absolute poverty corrupts absolutely\', #208) that actually sheds coherent light on an endemic problem in the \'State of the State\'. A refreshing change from waffling, conjured, purposefully inflammatory opinions. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely yes! Now that we know Mr Lal can present facts with reasoned opinion, we look forward to more of the same.