There was a cheating scandal at the cornhole competition.
Where are we going? After cornhole, to the bigger impact of corruption.
The BagGate Scandal
You might have missed (as did I) the 2022 American Cornhole World Championship in Rock Hill, South Carolia.
Typically played at breweries and tailgates, cornhole has a league with 45,000 members. Most fundamentally, the object is to toss your bag into a hole. The holes are cut into platforms that are 27 feet apart while the 6″ bags can be filled with corn or plastic pellets. At more formal competitions, cornhole prize money can be as mnuch as $250,000,
Do take a look for it all to make sense:
This year’s problems started when one of the competitors filed a complaint saying his opponent’s bag looked too light–not the required 16 ounces in a 6″ x 6″ bag.
It was too light.
However, they soon discovered that there were regulation problems with all of the bags. But it did not stop them from playing. After an hour long delay, they continued competing for the $15,000 prize money. League officials said they did not think there had been any intentional cheating.
Our Bottom Line: Corruption
Taking a pretty big leap but a relevant one, I thought about how corruption prevents a minimally regulated system from functioning optimally or perhaps even at all. With cornhole, it did not appear that they cared but I suspect they will.
Corruption distorts much of Adam Smith’s market requisites. As a bribe, for example, corruption changes the self interest we all need to display and affects spontaneous competition, Certainly equilibrium prices change. And indeed, whether government deals with icorruption or ignores it, laissez-faire is affected.
We could say that it all adds up to the rule of law. A criteria in the Index of Economic Freedom, the rule of law score is high in the most successful market systems.
My sourees and more: Thanks to Bloomberg radio for alerting me to BagGate. From there, I found the details at WSJ and at a corn toss retailer. Then, the Index of Economic Freedom was the perfect complement for the bigger picture. The source of our featured image was the “cornhole addicts” website.