Researchers Confirm: Government Draws Workers of Lower Moral Caliber

It takes a certain type of moral character to make a suitable government apparatchik. Recent research should make life easier for Big Government recruiters:

College students who cheated on a simple task were more likely to want government jobs, researchers from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania found in a study of hundreds of students in Bangalore, India.

Their results, recently released as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, suggest that one of the contributing forces behind government corruption could be who gets into government work in the first place.

Honesty was tested by letting subjects roll dice and report the results; higher reported rolls resulted in higher payment. Aspiring bureauweenies unsurprisingly reported rolling lots of sixes.

“Overall, we find that dishonest individuals — as measured by the dice task — prefer to enter government service,” wrote Hanna and coauthor Shing-yi Wang, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

They added, “Importantly, we show that cheating on this task is also predictive of fraudulent behaviors by real government officials.”

Government workers who reported higher rolls were more likely to miss work. Government absenteeism is largely fraudulent.

Another test found that aspiring government workers were more likely to be greedy.

Hopefully no one is surprised by the results. Sluggish, coercion-based government is the ideal environment for those who are greedy, dishonest, slothful, and in general of inferior character. That is why we are ruled by the worst among us, and why only fools would want Big Government running their lives.

On tips from Artfldgr and |. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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