Americans, including most Hoosiers, believe strongly in first-come, first-served. That one person or business might “buy” a better place in line is abhorrent according to our norms. We tolerate it more in the private sector than in the public sector. (Think of those who pay a little extra to the maître d’ for a window table or provide a “small gift” for the person assigning tee times on the golf course.)
Corruption is the giving of gifts or bribes by private sector persons to those in the public sector in return for a favor, information, or something else of value, like a contract. The penalties for the public sector recipient often are more serious than for the private sector villain.
The snake, it seems to me, was not punished as much as were Adam and Eve.
Morton J. Marcus is an economist, writer and speaker formerly with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.