March 22, 2017

Petty Corruption

We've got an artificial Christmas tree. The tree "trunk" is held in place in the base by three turnscrews. When I went to set it up last December, I discovered that one of the three screws had gone missing. I used a shim to get through the holidays, then sought out a replacement after we took the tree down.

The local home improvement store was useful in that they had a little sizer doo-hickey that confirmed that the screws were metric. But the store, despite being larger than any aircraft hanger I've worked in, did not have a replacement. So I ordered them off Amazon.com. They took about a month to arrive.

Anyway, they came today in a little pouch mailed from Hong Kong, China Post to  the US Post Office. It had the customs information printed right on the pouch. According to the customs declaration, it was a gift of the category "Cell Phone Accessories".

The screws were only a few bucks for the set. I'm sure the tariff saved was only a few cents. I'm not going to write my Congressman and demand an investigation. But it struck my fancy as being an excellent example of the petty corruption that one hears about in societies were the rule of law has not taken hold.

Posted by: Boviate at 10:30 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 According to a friend of mine who actually works as a Customs forwarding agent, there would be no tariff savings whatsoever. He ascribed it to laziness rather than malevolence- whoever it was that had the job of filling out that form, was not motivated to do it properly for an item that cost so little.

Posted by: Boviate at Thursday, April 06 2017 05:53 PM (HozLd)

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