Trade, tourism, cultural exchange, and participation in international institutions all serve to erode the legitimacy of repressive regimes.
If you want to go around saying that giving women the vote wrecked the country and still be taken seriously, it helps to be handing out $100 bills.
Where the grifter is shameless, the grafter shrinks from exposure, which could only endanger the racket. He is greedy but not creatively ambitious. He toils in mundane self-dealing, insider trading, bribe taking, witness tampering, and other forms of workaday corruption.
People who live in hermit states like North Korea, Burma, and Cuba already suffer from global isolation. Fed on a diet of propaganda, they don't know what's happening inside their borders or outside of them. By increasing their seclusion, sanctions make it easier for dictators to blame external enemies for a country's suffering.
Joe Lieberman can be cloying and sanctimonious.
It's tempting to dismiss the debate about the National Security Agency spying on Americans as a technical conflict about procedural rights.