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BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries

SDShad 27 Apr 00 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Sam 27 Apr 00 - 12:28 PM
Amos 27 Apr 00 - 12:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 00 - 12:32 PM
SDShad 27 Apr 00 - 12:36 PM
JedMarum 27 Apr 00 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Billybob 27 Apr 00 - 12:37 PM
SDShad 27 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Mrr 27 Apr 00 - 01:41 PM
catspaw49 27 Apr 00 - 01:57 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Apr 00 - 02:14 PM
SDShad 27 Apr 00 - 02:22 PM
Sailor Dan 27 Apr 00 - 02:43 PM
catspaw49 27 Apr 00 - 03:07 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Apr 00 - 03:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 00 - 03:51 PM
catspaw49 27 Apr 00 - 04:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 00 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,John Galt 27 Apr 00 - 04:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 00 - 04:35 PM
Bert 27 Apr 00 - 04:36 PM
SDShad 27 Apr 00 - 04:43 PM
catspaw49 27 Apr 00 - 04:48 PM
Bert 27 Apr 00 - 04:54 PM
Peter T. 27 Apr 00 - 05:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 00 - 05:34 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Apr 00 - 05:45 PM
Peter T. 27 Apr 00 - 05:54 PM
Wesley S 27 Apr 00 - 06:04 PM
Peter T. 27 Apr 00 - 06:10 PM
catspaw49 27 Apr 00 - 06:37 PM
uncle bill 27 Apr 00 - 09:36 PM
GUEST, Fast Charlie 27 Apr 00 - 10:25 PM
Escamillo 28 Apr 00 - 12:31 AM
Amos 28 Apr 00 - 01:04 AM
Metchosin 28 Apr 00 - 01:46 AM
Crowhugger 28 Apr 00 - 03:55 AM
Brian Hoskin 28 Apr 00 - 08:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,aldus 28 Apr 00 - 01:10 PM

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Subject: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: SDShad
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:08 PM

In the More Grist for the Mill Department:

I happened across these factoids that could easily be relevant to several recent nominally non-musical threads recently. But factoids are grist for the mill for folkies, so:

From the Christian Science Monitor, August 4, 1997:

The Day's List
Ranking World's Most, Least Corrupt Countries

Transparency International, a private Berlin-based group that aims to help cut corruption in government, ranked 52 countries based on surveys of businesspeople. Using data from the past 12 months, it rated the US 16th-best, with a score of 7.61 on a scale of 1-10. The top five in each category and their scores:

Least Corrupt
Denmark, 9.94
Finland, 9.48
Sweden, 9.35
New Zealand, 9.23
Canada, 9.10

Most Corrupt
Nigeria, 1.76
Bolivia, 2.05
Colombia, 2.23
Russia, 2.27
Pakistan, 2.53

Compiled by Robert Kilborn, Lance Carden, and Vic Roberts

Discuss amongst yourselves,

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: GUEST,Sam
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:28 PM

They left out Mexico and the Bahamas in the second list.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Amos
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:31 PM

Business people? It would be interesting to see how the questions were posed and the answers analyzed. Corruption is a pretty big term. What practices were being identified in the survey?

Corruption implies a departure from a "moral" standard. What was the ideal against which corruption was being measured here? Some cultures, for example Mexico, have a long tradition of palm-greasing as an honorable component of doing business. Is this included in "corruption"? And if we're talking countries, corruption would have to be measured against a baseline of explicit ideals -- a perspective from which our own country has wandered pretty far in many ways. But non-idealistic, pragmatic, opportunism is widely esteemed in the business community as a good stance for getting profitable business done -- short-sighted perhaps but generally accepted.

I'd like to see the definitions and statistics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:32 PM

That's corruption in government. What about corruption among business people? My impression is that many things that would count as corrupt in government would be seen as acceptable business practice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: SDShad
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:36 PM

Well, 1999's complete list can be found on their website here.

Mexico's tied for 58th out of 100 on that list, BTW.

Chris again


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: JedMarum
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:37 PM

well said, Amos; the devil's in the detail. How were these surverys conduected, who answered, how were the questions asked, etc, etc

On the other hand, from personal experence in the business world, I have seen what I call corruption (pay-offs, kick backs, etc) in my travels. It seems to be an open part of business in some parts of the world. And I must say the corrupt list looks correct to me, with the addition of much of the Caribbean, and PR China.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: GUEST,Billybob
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:37 PM

Bill Gates is about as corrupt and un-ethical as they get. Microsoft makes virtually nothing. They acquire or clone software technologies, or, stomp their competition into the dust...and they love to call this practise INNOVATING.

The charitable donations are just a way of deflecting negative public opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: SDShad
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM

Good point, McGrath. I think it's probably also true that the more corrupt the government, the more corrupt the business environment.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 01:41 PM

What seems to be ignored is that in many countries, what is considered Corrupt by US standards is merely standard business practice, not corruption when viewed in the foreign context. For instance, to get a driver's license in Co^te d'Ivoire, where I was a teenager, I'd have had to pay to take Driver's Ed (although I knew how to drive - but this was also the case in Massachusetts when I tried to get a license there in college), pay the government fee for the license (same as the US), and pay some dash to the guy handing out the license (difference). Americans tend to consider Step 3 to be a "bribe" and thus tak it as evidence of "corruption" - well, by that token, tipping the waitstaff is a bribe. It's in the pay scale of the hander-outer that he gets some of his $$ straight from the customer, not the employer, same as waitstaff getting lower salaries because it's expected that the customer will pay something over the top. The ethnocentric bias should not be underestimated. Needless to say, I had to wait till we left Africa to get a driver's license as my US-government-employed father wasn't allowed to pay the dash which everyone else considered simply part of the fee to get a license. Luckily we had dip plates so nobody was going to pull me over anyway...


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 01:57 PM

How in the world can we discuss this? Amos has made a valid post and I'd add that any Q&A can be written to attain whatever answers are wanted.

I appreciate the thought there Shad, but this can logically go nowhere.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 02:14 PM

Spaw...what amkes you think logic has anything to do with what goes on in the Mudcat Forum? Logic works about as well here as it does on those rare occasions when I argue with my wife.

I am wondering what kind of world we're living in when Mexico ranks in the middle of the pack on corruption?


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: SDShad
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 02:22 PM

So Leej, are you implying that I'm about as logical as your wife?

Should I be concerned? :-)

Curious that the Scandinavian countries make up half of the top 10. But you make a fair point Spaw. It's just a bit of information mainly, I guess. Not too much to discuss.

C.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Sailor Dan
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 02:43 PM

Hey Lonesome, I agree about Mexico, after going there weekly for 18 months, I thought corruption was the only way of life down there. That place should lead the hit parade


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 03:07 PM

leej, you surprise me! Why this place is asshole deep in logic!!! Where else can you find the logic of so many great minds and things collected in one place? I ask you, WHERE?

At Mudcat you can find the perfection and symmetry in ass-blown possums, veggies growing in asscracks, tuning devices for moustaches, and a guy who runs a Radio Shack located 452 miles from the nearest customer.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 03:14 PM

You would see my point, Spaw, if you'd stop being so goddam logical all the time. Jesus. Get in touch with your feelings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 03:51 PM

Two people are charged with the same crime, and one has a lot of money, and pays the best lawyers and public relations people, and gets off.

The other doesn't have any money, has a lawyer appointed for them who hasn't a clue, and who doesn't even try,and he gets banged up for life. Maybe executed, eventually.

Is that corruption? Or is corruption just people paying bribes to public officials and public officials accepting them?

Seems to me that real corruption is made up of a whole lot of different things, and straighforward cash bribery is only one of them. Giving jobs to cronies is corruption. Tying "aid" to arms deals is corruption. Putting government contracts in places where it's convenient for the next time yiou want to get elected is corruption. Telling lies to get elected is corruption. So is voting for someone because they offer you a tax-cut as a bribe, at the expense of people who are at greater need than you are.

There's a lot of it about, and I don't think it's confined to the countries that scored badly on this "survey."

Oh yes, and copywriting public domain songs, that is definitely corrupt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 04:07 PM

Oh sure McGrath......try to make some kind of sense here.

See Leej, logic once again rears its ugly head......and I've seen Kevin's picture.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 04:16 PM

cilog is what we really go in for here, waps...

htargcm of wolrah


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: GUEST,John Galt
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 04:18 PM

I keep hearing that if something (corruption) is culturally acceptable in a country that makes it OK. Is there not a greater good? Female circumcision is forced on many a young girl and is considered culturally acceptable in many countries. Slavery is an accepted practice in the Sudan....


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 04:35 PM

I agree that being "culturally acceptible" doesn't make something right.

The thing is though, we ought to focus on the things in our own countries that are "culturally acceptable" - but wrong. Whatever they may be, and whatever country we may be in. "I thank you Lord, because you did not make me like other men..."

Somehow the blame seems to be laid primarily on the people who take the bribes rather than on the people who give them. It's a bit like the way with prostitution the focus is always on the hookers, not on the punters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Bert
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 04:36 PM

Yeah, well said Amos. Seems to me that corruption is in the eye of the beholder.

In The Middle East we often had to pay some 'Baksheesh' to get things done. It was pretty much an accepted thing and people were open, or should I say honest, about it.

Thing that gets me over here, is that our local borough charges a 'fee' for a permit, which you 'have to have' if you want to change a washer in your faucet. I think that's corruption in it's worst form. Or maybe I'm wrong and it's those wicked home owners who change their washers without a permit that are corrupt.

As Amos said "It would be interesting to see how the questions were posed"

Bert. (BTW, for another example of REAL corruption, read the BOCA Code)


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: SDShad
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 04:43 PM

Bert--

Excuse ignorance please, but what's a "BOCA Code?"

And am I readin' you right? You can't do basic plumbing maintenance where you live without a bloody permit? Unbelievable.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 04:48 PM

Does the same permit cover dryers too Bert? Or is it just the washers? Is there a commercial permit available to Laundromat owners? If so, is it discounted based on square footage of the establishment? And what if you run another business along with your Laundromat? .... Say like a "Neo-Pseudo Pagan-Christian Born Again from the Antiquities Boring Shit Research Library" or maybe a tanning salon. Do you need a separate permit or can you give each of the guys on the zoning committee a Paddle Ball and call it a day?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Bert
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 04:54 PM

The Boca Code is a document produced for the benefit of building inspectors. It is 'supposed' to be a building code, but it gives building inspectors carte blance to do as they damned well please without any fear of comeback from anybody. If your city has adopted the BOCA code, as most have, then you can't sue the building inspector for any reason whatsoever.

And that's right SDShad, in Phoenixville, PA, you need a permit to change a washer in your faucet, or put a fence around your yard.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 05:25 PM

As it happens, I know the director of Transparency International for Canada, and while I don't know the details, the meeting that I attended some time ago made it clear that they wrestle and struggle over the very issues and definitions that have been discussed here. TI is a very new organization, and they are still developing their credibility, so I wouldn't take what they say as gospel. They do, however, focus quite narrowly on large scale bribe taking, particularly in government and government/corporate dealings. This is not petty baksheesh stuff: it is millions of kickback dollars, etc.

Returning to Mudcat logic, was the result of the discussion that Leej's wife was corruptible with a bribe? I sort of lost track round about CP's second contribution, which is not unusual......
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 05:34 PM

So Peter T. - if a company in England or the USA, or for that matter the national government, offered a bribe to someone in a ministry in some Second or Third World country, would that count as corruption in England or the USA?

This isn't a polemic point I'm making here - from what you say, it's the kind of thing that Transparency International might actually take into account. So do you know if they do? And is the corruption measured in terms of the number of bribes, or the total amount of money involved, or the seniority of the people offering them and taking them? >


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 05:45 PM

Since my country is so uncorruptable, then it follows that I am too. I declare myself "The new Moral Conscience of Mudcat" (Sorry Joe)

Now everyone take off their clothes. (except you Spaw)

Rick (His Wholsomeness)


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 05:54 PM

Dear McGrath, I am out of my depth. The examples they used when I was there were bidding on international contracts, and on national contracts by international companies. They were wrestling with "expectation" and who pressured whom, who is to blame and so on. The early work seemed to be on large scale bribes which were illegal (on the books anyway) of the countries themselves. Their informants were generally very senior people in government, industry, and diplomacy about very big things -- military contracts, dams, national telephone systems etc. Their neutrality (and world view) has been criticised internally as well as externally -- the main funder has been the General Electric Corporation, I believe.
yours, Peter T.
P.S. My sense was that the biggest worry everyone had was about corrupt judiciaries (since if the judicial system is corrupt, then there is really nothing left), and they were struggling to figure out how to enter that, if at all. I found it all fascinating, mostly because (as has been discussed here) I think the thing began as a fairly naive attempt to deal with international corporate bribery and then everything else kind of engulfed them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Wesley S
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 06:04 PM

Ah - Rick - your Wholesomeness - The other folks in my office are kinda wondering what I'm up to. Now what????


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 06:10 PM

Wesley, now think "transparent". Rick assures us that if you think hard enough, the people in your office won't see you. This is why it is called "Transparency International". yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 06:37 PM

Actually Peter, I'd heard they had merged with Amnesty International so now you are free to be transparent.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: uncle bill
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 09:36 PM

My 2 cents from the cynical darkside: THEY ARE ALL CORRUPT , THEY DIDN'T GET TO THE TOP WITHOUT BEING CORRUPT AND FRANKLY, THE WAY THE WORLD IS NOW WE NEED THEM. (until the meek inherit)


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: GUEST, Fast Charlie
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 10:25 PM

"Give me your chil'ren.
How much for your chil'ren
I want to buy your chil'ren"

Joliet Jake Blues

I don't think we should look too far, do you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Escamillo
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 12:31 AM

How about abusive taxes ? Shouldn´t they be considered immmediately as corruption, no matter how those funds are used ? The example of Argentina: if you are an independent worker or small company owner, you have to pay:
21% of your GROSS income, for Tax on Added Value (federal)
3% of your GROSS income for Tax On Gross Income (city)
6% additional of your services expenses like electricity, gas, public lights, street maintenance, and telephone (federal)
16% of your income for Federal Social Security (you obtain 180 dollar pension after 30 years, if you are 65 or older)(federal)
8% compulsive social security savings on any private company which makes investments for you, but does not guarantee any earnings (last year´s statistics shows a neutral index - nobody got interests)
3% compulsive commission , unrecoverable, for those companies (Half local, half US and European capitals).
Finally, if you worked hard, your balance is still positive, then applies 35% of your net earnings in excess of elementary expenses (no more than 18000 dollars/year per family) for Tax on Enrichment(!)
Of course, there are additional taxes on cars, boats, real estate of any kind, travel abroad, use of airports, highway tolls, beverages 40%(alcoholic or not), tobacco 200%,etc.etc. So, how and where in the world could you find a single person who will not incurr in concealment of his earnings, and will keep out of the illegal market ?
Back to the subject of the good use of that funds: would you think that, with all that massive income (more than 50% of the national product), will the government build a Shangri-La of a country, with all kind of assistance to people, with no poverty, no injustice, and plenty of culture ?? NAH, NAH.
One more ! Each time you perform a show in a public place, paid or not, you should contribute a minimum a 100 $ or a % of the tickets, for the Society of Authors Dead or Alive Public Domain Or Not, plus 21% Added Value plus 3% municipal tax!

Government corruption is the first, but who elected them ? Us. Sadly, the corrupts are ourselves, and are only waiting for our opportunity to climb up there and steal our part. Oops, I´m rather pesimistic tonight. I´ll try to bribe Gimenez (our dog officer) to make him shake his tail for me. Got to go to the refrigerator.bybye.
Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Amos
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 01:04 AM

I think excessive taxation is almost as oppressive as taxation without representation. I believe that in some enlightened parallel universe the founding fathers included an item in the Bill Of Rights for citizens limiting ALL taxes combined on any one taxpyer to 10 % of gross; eliminated ALL exclusions; trimmed their enforcement arm by 60%, and since the form was so point-blank simple, were able to liberate 80% of the Revenue Service staff, whom they then put to work in trimming government waste and auditing the military industrial complex.

As it is, governments who can ramp taxes up to a net total of 60 to 80 per cent of revenue (as sometimess happens in the highly civilized "non"-corrupt countries like Denmark are like big black holes sucking down the efforts of their citizenry. This seriously compromises the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Metchosin
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 01:46 AM

Amos, I think they make them eat weird fish too..


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Crowhugger
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 03:55 AM

Amos, Chris & Peter T.,

That link from Chris is packed with info. These people put a lot of work into making clear what they did and why/not.

I have a good friend who'll be surprised Pakistan did so well, until I list the ones that were worse.

CH


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 08:35 AM

Countries aren't corrupt; people are corrupt. So you can have a 'corrupt' country where everyone knows you have to grease the wheels to get things done, and everyone accepts that. Or you can have a country which apparently isn't corrupt, but where a few people at the top are rotten to the core. These kind of surveys aren't very helpful, unless you're just out to perpetuate a few racial stereotypes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 12:38 PM

There's a minimum amount a human being needs to get by, and an amount sufficient to meet anyone's reasonable needs and wishes.

A just society would ensure that noone fell below the minimum. It would also ensure that nobody got more than a reasonable maximum. That's how it works in families, that's how it works in tribes.

When we hear of a family where one child is neglected and kept short of food and another gets overindulged, we'd know something was badly wrong with that family. If we came across some "primitive" tribe where the same thing happened, with some people starving and some people feasting, we'd know there was something badly wrong. If we saw it in a troop of chimpanzees, we'd know something was badly wrong...


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Subject: RE: BS: Most/Least Corrupt Countries
From: GUEST,aldus
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 01:10 PM

What you descibe happens frequently in so-called primitive societies...there is no such thing as an inately noble society...it is hard work to convince people of the following two things...those who contibute nothing are politically entitled to a reward in the form of the same minimum that workers get, those who work very hard will have a portion of the rewards of labour denied because those who have less deem it excessive. Corruption means simply to entitle people who do not deserve entitlement and to deprive people of an entitlement which they earned......


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Mudcat time: 9 August 9:45 PM EDT

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