A Gilded Age antitrust cartoon depicting the Senate chamber, populated by tiny, weak Senators; the gallery is filled with giant ‘fatcat’ industry lobbyists, scowling at them.

“Corruption” conjures images of bags of cash changing hands in deserted parking garages, but I’d like to propose a simple and concrete definition that goes beyond that: “Corruption” is when something bad happens because its harms are diffused and its gains are concentrated.

Here’s what I mean. West Virginia is known as coal country, but coal is actually a…



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