Government: Byword for Corruption

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You know that game involving word association at the psychotherapists? The one where you have to say the first word that springs to mind. Imagine yourself prostrate on the coach, eyes closed and suddenly the guy dressed in the tweeds with the half-moon glasses and the beard peering over your forehead snaps out the word ‘government’! How many of us would snap back double quick ‘corruption’ with a frown on our faces? Most of us, these days, most probably. There is growing distrust of governments and the growing belief that those that govern us need the thumbs down when it comes to telling the truth.

More Transparency Please

The most recent study on corruption in the world was carried out by the anti-corruption group known as Transparency International. It has published an index of 177 countries worldwide regarding corruption since 1995.

  • Countries are ranked from 0 to 100.
  • Countries that are at the lower end of the scale are highly corrupt and those that are towards 100 are considered to be ‘clean’.

Countries are dirty and clean, then. I think we all knew that…and most of them or verging on the dirty side, lately.

Or at least, we have found out more about just how much of a scum line has been left around the bath after the water got let out. Scum is always hard to get rid of, but it has always been there lurking.

The Corruption Perceptions Index in 2013

World Corruption Map

World Corruption Map

The findings were published on December 3rd 2013 and show that “corruption continues to have a devastating impact on societies and individuals around the world, with more than two-thirds of countries surveyed scoring less than 50 out of 100 in the latest” report. Despite the new laws that have been passed around the world, citizens in every country are just not seeing the results showing through. We are outwardly told that the governments we have in office are doing everything they possibly can to fight against corruption. But, when it boils down to it, corruption has a hell of a knack of being resiliently persistent.

  • The US scored just 73 on the 2013 index and comes in at 19th place in the world.
  • That means that Uruguay is just as corrupt (or uncorrupt depending on which side of the fence you wish to throw stones at the glass house).
  • Japan (74 points and 18th position) is cleaner and so is the UK (14th place with 76 points on the index) than the USA.
  • The US has been criticized yet again in this year’s index for not doing enough to stop money laundering.
  • Government contracting has also come under heavy fire for being corruptly attributed by government officials. Jobs for the boys?
  • Denmark and New Zealand are the cleanest countries in the index (91 points).
  • Afghanistan, Somalia and North Korea got 8 points and tied last.

When are we going to see the end to bribery, double-dealing wheeler- dealing and abuse of power or secret agreements? When is the back room board-meeting going to be brought out to the front office before the real people? The USA will most likely drop in the ratings next year when further results about the criticisms of the National Security Agency and Edward Snowden have an impact.

You can even do a test to see if you are correct about just how corrupt countries are in the world.

Transparency International carried out an earlier study about bribery and public officials and government corruption, which had the following findings:

  • According to statistics one quarter of the world’s population ended up paying a bribe when having dealings with a public official and 50% of respondents believe that corruption has worsened over the past two years in the world.
  • This particular study was carried out in July 2013 by Transparency International and it concerned corruption and distrust in 107 countries in the world.
  • It’s the political parties that are fuelling the corruption in the world and it’s the driving force behind the lack of democracy.
  • It’s the so-called democracies that are the most corrupt institutions in our societies today according to this study.
  • Prior to the financial crisis, 31% of people believed that their governments fought against corruption and that it was effective.
  • That in itself was rather low already.
  • That figure now only stands at 22%, meaning that nearly 80% of people in the world believe that governments are acting insufficiently against corruption.

So, who’s the most corrupt in the USA today? The judiciary? The police? The government? Congress? The House of Representatives? You decide? Have you ever had to pay a bribe to get what you wanted?

Originally posted: Government: Byword for Corruption

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