Final Word from Thursday, April 14, 2011

Most people resort to bribery, if at all, only after all the legal methods of persuasionhave been exhausted. The head of a certain major semi-state Czech company isknown for using bribery as the default option, without ever even considering the legalmethods. To make sure the bribery works, he pays twice what he thinks shouldbe necessary. Some people in business complain that this has led to bribe inflation.Remember how Mirek Topolánek spoke last year about the need to bring the 15-20% "commissions" down to the old level of 5-7%? One reason the famous Klauspen video (for our "official" subtitles, click here) stings so much and is so funny isthat it shows a man with everything pilfering something that he doesn't need andthat is his for the taking anyway. It's sad when duplicity, whether in politics or business,is the default option. It casts doubt on anything the person ever says or does.

Glossary of difficult words

to resort to something - to turn to and adopt a strategy or course of action, esp. a disagreeable or undesirable one;

persuasion - the act or fact of convincing someone to do or believe something;

default - a preselected option that is adopted automatically when no alternative is specified;

to sting - to hurt or upset someone;

funny subtitles - be sure to turn on CC under the video;

to pilfer - to steal (typically something of relatively little value);

for the taking - ready or available for someone to take advantage of;

duplicity - deliberate deceptiveness or deceitfulness in behavior or speech.


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