A bribe as defined by Tom Carson is a payment to someone in exchange for special consideration that is incompatible with the duties of his position. An example of this would be if you offered a judge payment in secrecy, to rule in your favor. Your offer was accepted by the judge and you were not found guilty because of the payment received. In the above example if it had been revealed why you were not found guilty, you and the judge involved would be accused of bribery. Once the media had received the facts pertaining to the bribery charges you would have a difficult time defending your innocents. We expect individuals to perform the jobs they have to the best of their ability. A judge which is caught letting his decision be influenced in favor of a person submitting payment secretly to him, is not performing his job to the best of his ability. In the back of our minds we believe judges, politicians, and lawyers are taking payoffs or bribes to accommodate the needs of the highest bidder. What disturbs us, is the secrecy. It is difficult for us to respect or trust a person of authority, when they are being devious. Consider this, you have been issued a traffic ticket. You appear for your day in court. The judge tells you ?I will give you court supervision, if you pay court costs?; The traffic violation will not appear on your driving record, your auto insurance company will not find out, so your auto insurance will not increase. This is not considered bribery, this is acceptable. There is nothing secretive happen between you and the judge.
It is common corporate business practice for a company to give gifts to another. One company may give expensive watches, one may take the individuals which make the important buying decisions out to a high class expensive restaurant. This is sometimes done to encourage the one company to buy from the other. Sometimes gifts are given from one company to another as a way of saying thank you. When ever the gift is given it is rare that it is given in secrecy. I know of a corporation which expects the venders which supply goods or services to donate gifts for its annual golf outing. We have all received the free sample of Brand X in the mail. We do not consider ourselves being bribed when we use the sample of Brand X. The decision to use, or not to use Brand X is ours. We also do not view company X sending us the sample of Brand X as trying to bribe us. This is mainly because company X is not trying to hide what it is doing.