The Last Seduction is a 1996 movie that many consider a classic and others consider annoying. But there’s a scene which is a good example of how the system chooses one kind of corruption over another, or, more properly, institutionalizes it.
Bill Pullman plays Clay, a medical resident, who among other not good things is selling scripts to junkies.
Junkie knocks on the apartment door.
Clay (holding a prescription pad): What can I do for you?
Junkie: I want to lose WEIGHT.
Clay: (rolls his hands, i.e. “…and?”)
Junkie: Oh, yeah. I tried Thinfast, and it didn’t work.
Clay: Ok, take these. (And writes the prescription.)
So the idea is that Clay’s a bad person, and he’s selling scripts.
But today, 2011, Clay wouldn’t do that– not because the laws are too strict but because there’s no reason to. He could go to the clinic, have the exact same conversation in the exact same amount of time, under the security of a clinic, and make the exact same money– probably more, based on volume. And “in return” the junkie gets at least a higher level of care than he would have at Clay’s apartment.
The system, i.e. America, decided that it was better to have that kind of cheating within the confines of a regulated clinic than in people’s apartments. In this case, the system was right.