So say Leftist apologists for statist government such as Chris Hayes. Hayes, on his MSNBC show this morning, offered northern Euorpean countries as examples. The reason this defense of Big Statist Government doesn't hold water is because it's not certain that these countries aren't experiencing more corruption than is normally assumed -- another reason is that it only makes sense that the more a government controls the economy, the more those with financial interests which are affected by regulation and government programs will attempt to influence government officials and policy -- since government officials in northern Europe are human and not saints, they are susceptible to corruption. The norms of a country also have an effect, and what one country calls corruption another might see as usual political business.
In the US, since the creation of pressure groups, the increase in lobbying has followed increases in regulations and control over the economy. US Government creates a larger and larger feeding trough and, thus, cronyism, bribery and general corruption propagate. The only way to stop this is to separate government and economy in a free market. Also, the size of the welfare state in northern Europe is not the issue -- how much a government regulates the market and intervenes in the market through monetary manipulation and such, however, is directly related to the level of corruption.