By Christopher C. Hood (auth.)
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Needless to say, governments rarely disburse their treasure in this literal form. But they do on occasion make payments that are not tailormade to the payee. The process is in some ways like a slot-machine. One may, of course, press the buttons in such a way as to make a 'personal' selection, but the machine is designed to serve anyone who has the right coins or tokens. Bounties The term bounty is taken to denote a payment made in exchange for some direct quid pro quo, but which is open-ended in that the individual or organisation which is to provide that quid pro quo is not specified.
But at the margin the distinction between the two types of payment becomes fuzzy, and their effects may be similar- just as payments to 'encourage' sympathetic guerilla groups may shade into the hiring of mercenaries. Conduits Conduits are somewhat less particularised ways of distributing treasure than the forms that have just been outlined. Conduits employ intermediaries to move treasure to its final recipient. They can be used both for exchanges and for 'unconditional' payments. Just as we saw with group-directed methods of disseminating information in the last chapter, the use of individuals or organisations as wholesalers in the movement of money is far from uncommon as a device of government.
Similarly, the British government turned increasingly to the financing of consumer advice centres in the 1970s, because telling consumers about their legal rights and advising them on individual cases began to be seen as a more effective way of seeing that laws on trading standards were carried out than the more traditional government detection method of concentrating on periodic rota inspections of retail stores by government officials (Cranston, 1979). Even further removed from the standard example of health and safety propaganda is the case of public order policing.