November 6, 2005
Speaking of Corruption and France...
The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index for 2005 came out on October 18th. Commissioned by Prof. Dr J. Graf Lambsdorff of the University of Passau, this a quite a detailed look at corruption on a national scale based on research by 10 national and international institutions organizations. You could probably spend hours reading and following all the links in the report!
-- The TI Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries in terms of the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians. It is a composite index, drawing on corruption-related data in expert surveys carried out by a variety of reputable institutions. It reflects the views of business people and analysts from around the world, including experts who are locals in the countries evaluated.
--The CPI focuses on corruption in the public sector and defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain.
Read the FAQs here
One detail that may stand out to the Chant readers is that France ( a favorite country of most of this site’s frequent visitors) is more corrupt than the United States. Thats right, France! Yes its close but France IS more corrupt than America.. Its funny because there are factions in America that think France is such a stellar, fantastic county what with their passivist-no-Wal-Mart-anti-American beliefs. Yet they suck more than America, at least as far as corruption is concerned.
A good part of the world and many Americans themselves view the US as an immoral, pseudo imperialist, bully who rolls into town, beats down native peoples and imposes its globalist/military/cultural ways on everyone. They don’t like us and they don’t like our polices. America has made mistakes. But other countries are just as naughty if not more so and are often down right criminal.
In reality, its France that’s more corrupt and therefore LESS moral than the United States. I believe you can interpret the corruption list as viewing those countries towards the top more as moral, and those countries towards the bottom as less moral.
It makes sense right? I mean if you take bribes, commit extortion, lie, engage in Enron like accounting practices you can’t really be said to be a moral government can you? Certainly there exists good and bad people in the governments of all countries, but the proportions vary considerably.
Now lets return to France. Let me point out that France “hates freedom.” That’s right, you read correctly. I actually said it, oh yes, read it again to make sure. They don’t have the religious freedom we in America have. The French despise this expression so much, like Craig mentioned in his post, that the actually passed a law against it in an attempt to “preserve French secular traditions from Muslim fundamentalism.“ Shockingly intolerant is it not?
So in fact France is just as bad, and often worse than the USA, and the two are far less corrupt than all the countries in Africa.
The ill-founded war in Iraq doesn’t make America as corrupt as, say, Chad. And an administration that opposes gay marriage isn’t immoral because its just a belief with equally valid sides; some people think gay marriage is immoral, but stealing money, extorting people, regardless, are for sure forms of corruption.
W., Karl Rove, leaking CIA agents names is certainly scandalous, but remember, we have a far higher percentage of competent officials that keep our government running smoothly. Many African officials commit numerous crimes on a frequent basis that don't get as much press because they're not the world super power.
Imperialist European nations can’t be responsible for EVERY thing wrong on that continent, but thus far, no African Bill Cosby has stepped up to speak the truth.
Lets address the African issue brought up by the CPI. First lets look at some content of the report regarding wealth:
Wealth does not determine progress against corruption
Wealth is not a prerequisite for successful control of corruption. New long-term analysis of the CPI carried out by Prof. Dr. Johann Graf Lambsdorff shows that the perception of corruption has decreased significantly in lower-income countries such as Estonia, Colombia and Bulgaria over the past decade. In the case of higher-income countries such as Canada and Ireland, however, there has been a marked increase in the perception of corruption over the past ten years, showing that even wealthy, high-scoring countries must work to maintain a climate of integrity. Similarly, the responsibility in the fight against corruption does not fall solely on lower-income countries. Wealthier countries, apart from facing numerous corruption cases within their own borders, must share the burden by ensuring that their companies are not involved in corrupt practices abroad. Offenders must be prosecuted and debarred from public bidding. The opportunity for ensuring sustainable progress also lies in the hands of the World Trade Organization, which needs to actively promote transparency and anti-corruption in global trade.
The lessons are clear: risk factors such as government secrecy, inappropriate influence of elite groups and distorted political finance apply to both wealthy and poorer countries, and no rich country is immune to the scourge of corruption.
Transparency International urges the following actions: By lower-income countries * Increase resources and political will for anti-corruption efforts. * Enable greater public access to information about budgets, revenue and expenditure
Hmmm. It doesn’t say anything about giving Africa money as a way to ease corruption.
--According to Transparency International, the African state (Chad) is marked by political instability, human rights abuses and weak press freedom.
--Africa is the most corrupt continent in the world, --The watchdog organisation says that out of 44 African nations covered in its 2005 corruption perceptions index, 31 of them scored less than three —“a sign of rampant corruption” — on a scale of zero to 10. --But the main responsibility for change is among Africa’s ruling elites, he says. “The prime changes have to happen in Africa itself but it does seem to be getting worse.” --“The country is marked by political instability, human rights abuses and weak press freedom,” the body says. --When countries improve governance and reduce corruption, they reap a“development dividend” that, according to the World Bank Institute, can include improved child mortality rates, higher per capita income and greater literacy.
Now the goal of Live 8 was to
“...double aid, fully cancelling debt, and delivering trade justice for Africa...”
But will this help? Over a $100 billion has been given to Africa since the early 1970s and look how much that has helped.
And here is an excerpt from make poverty history, website which is linked to a Live 8 website:
Poverty will not be eradicated without an immediate and major increase in international aid. Rich countries have promised to provide the extra money needed to meet the internationally agreed poverty reduction targets. This amounts to at least $50 billion per year and must be delivered now. Rich countries have also promised to provide 0.7% of their national income in aid and they must now make good on their commitment by setting a binding timetable to reach this target.
Here we go with the money thing again even though we know that hasn’t helped much in the past.
The site does acknowledge that the way aid is distributed needs to be changed:
However, without far-reaching changes in how aid is delivered, it won't achieve maximum benefits. Aid needs to focus better on poor people's needs. This means more aid being spent on areas such as basic health care and education...Aid should support poor countries' and communities' own plans and paths out of poverty.
But what is the plan for how to implement these changes? They just talk about throwing money at the problem with no set strategy.
The site does mention corruption, but it doesn’t place the appropriate blame. It just talks about how poor people suffer but not who (African governments themselves) is primarily responsible:
Corruption is an issue which affects both rich and poor countries, but it is the poorest people who suffer most from it. Poor people in developing countries expect the aid and debt relief received by their government to be spent in ways which actually improve their lives. Similarly, taxpayers in rich countries expect finance to poorer countries to be spent on fighting poverty. MPH believes corruption must be tackled in order to make poverty history, and that a number of actions, by both developing countries and rich countries, will help to fight corruption.
“A number of actions”? What does that mean? Where is the talk about how African governments are the most corrupt in the world and how they’re incompetence is crippling their people?
You won’t see any talk about that because this site isn’t interested in laying out all the facts, they want their agenda implemented and don’t want to face certain truths.
Debt relief doesn’t make a country wealthy, but it also doesn’t help end corruption which is Africa’s biggest problem.
Thirty years from now are we going to be saying the same things about Africa? Is it still going to be in retched poverty, corrupt beyond any nation in the western world?