As a tangent to this thread
on US history I started, how rampant was low-level corruption in the west, primarily in the US and Europe? Meaning on the urban/state level. Was it ever systemic as it appears in several countries around the globe?
I should note that I differentiate between corruption, i.e., give me an envelope full of cash or else fear for your life, and simple graft, i.e give me an envelope full of money and I'll get this today, or else you can wait forever like everyone else. Neither one is preferred, but I could live with the lesser evil in this case.
Was (is?) western corruption more of the former or the latter?