While we were in town yesterday my husband noticed a flush of fresh stock at the toy store. When he asked the clerks they told him the new toys were for bribes for reluctant children who would be returning to school in the fall. The other customers confirmed this fact, speaking of buying specific toys their children had said they wanted to get them back on the schoolbus.
I could make a comparison with the epidemic levels of bribery and corruption in our society, but it's too easy. Anytime someone hates something so much you have to bribe them to even show up, it's time to rethink the matter. People should definately be rewarded for their work and their achievements. In fact, the lack of clear cut rewards for work is a major problem right now. But rewards and bribes are very different things, and no one should be taught to expect a bribe just for showing up.