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I worked a couple of decades in social programs area and saw many times the huge negative impact of cash transfers. The former mayor of my hometown (now in jail) was bribed with some hundreds of thousand dollars and build a big mansion for him, OK, but to obtain this bribe of 100 thousands dollars he approved projects for hundred MILLION dollars plus, provoking a lot of additional negative externalities, it was a tragedy for a cheap bribe, and I have saw many cases of this kind in the past years
Individual small rent seeking trough bribes can indeed put at risk huge (infrastructure) programs which affect thousands of people, and the responsibles don´t even seem te be aware of it, or they are just to selfish.
That is exactly what happens in Chile, due small bribes huge unnecessary (even harmful) projects are approved and other necessary never are built due lobby of groups of special interest
When you refer to the "cash bribes," do you mean a bidding process where the highest bidder gets monopoly rights, or where the government official keeps the cash bribes of every briber and awards the rights to the highest? What is more common in the real world?
Its really not clear what real world events are abstracted as these "Bonfires" ? Are you talking about Dinners / Parties / Ballrooms, Free Rounds of Golf? Or the actually competitive bidding process?
Whats an example of a Bonfire in a real world situation that occurs often?