Valuable lesson for Russian born New Yorker; or corruption, American style

“But Gormakh has learned a valuable lesson in doing business in the American mixed economy: “If you want to work you have to pay. In Russia, they call it corruption. Here they call it something else. Either way, you have to pay.””

We all know New York is a dynamic place. It pulls in immigrants from around the world hoping to make a better life for themselves and their families. For the most part, I believe they attain that end. However, for some it is not without the stark reminder of the nature of corruption, a corruption they thought they left behind.

The excerpt above is from this article by Joseph Salerno. It refers to a Russian born New Yorker who was forced to pay a $1,600 fine by the health inspector for the finding of poppy and sesame seeds on the kitchen floor…at his bagel shop. Not only that, but the proprietor has, according to the article, spent $900,000 on new, larger, stainless steel counters in the hopes of stopping crumbs from falling on the floor. In the end, I guess the bagel shop owner simply got a lesson in western economics and bureaucracy. In the west, corruption takes on that official role where you think someone like the health inspector works in everyone’s best interest. Once you look beneath the surface, you realise that they are no different than the local mob boss who comes and breaks up the joint every so often to assert his dominance and extract payment from you.


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