Is bribing or lobbying always bad for society?
Consider the following scenario:
Alice and Bob are competing for a job, and Chris is interviewing them for that job.
The company at which Chris works has a very special interview process, designed to forecast how much each new employee will bring in in revenues each year.
If someone gets a score of 100 in the interview, he will bring in $100 worth of revenues every year, assuming he is hired. If the score is 85, he will bring in $85 and so forth.
Now, Alice and Bob went through the interviews, Alice got a score of 85, and Bob a score of 100.
Bob is hired, and gets a salary of $90 each year, so the company makes a profit of $10 each year from hiring Bob.
What happens if Chris, who was a new interviewer, made a mistake in the interview?
For example, say Alice's real score should have been 95 - she's just bad at interviews - and Bob should have been a 90 - he's just a big smiley blabber mouth, but not really a professional.
This has caused the company not to hire the best employee, and also to lose, or not make, money.
Alice, who knows her true score, could have offered Chris a small bribe (say $1 for each point), and increase her score above 100, and be hired.
The company would make a profit, paying $90 for someone bringing in $95, and Alice, who is the better candidate, will get the job.
So, although this example is highly simplistic, sometimes making people pay to show how good they trust they are makes the world a better place.