Friday, March 14, 2008

Trust But Verify 

Here is another example where credibility breeds trust, and trust allows an individual to get away with chicanery. From what I have read, Mr. Ward was deemed an expert in the rules of campaign funding and much sought after for advice. No one gave a thought to the idea he might be stealing at the same time he was providing counsel.

Why do people fall for such behavior time and again? We trust one another because we have to. We couldn't operate in society if we suspected everyone. Trust allows action rather than bureaucracy. In the case of the Treasurer, he was apparently faking audits and bookkeeping without sufficient oversight. Auditors know in matters of money that duties should be divided among people in order to prevent fraud. Apparently that wasn't done here or somehow, the ex-Treasurer circumvented the system. It is possible to steal for a time before getting caught.

There is a reminder in this failure. Trust but verify in important matters. We know this, but it is hard to break the habit of accepting what others tell us as true.


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