Tolls and Bribes

In ancient times, many cities rose to glory because of tolls extracted from traders in high-profit luxuries like silk, amber, and pepper. More recently, some Jews who escaped Hitler’s pogrom converted their assets into gold coins and diamonds; they bribed their way past police and onto foreign ships. In most of the world today, authorities are poorly paid, and bribes are both acceptable and necessary to facilitate business and travel. Before paying a bribe, remember that the passage of time and bargaining are needed to reduce expectations.