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New Data Shows 85% of Humans Live Under a Corrupt Government (newatlas.com) 277

schwit1 writes: According to one think tank that studies corruption in government, 85% of the world lives under governments that are essentially corrupt. New Atlas reports: "'Corruption' is defined by Transparency International (TI) as 'the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.' Each year since 1995, TI has published a Corruption Perceptions Index that scores the world's nations out of 100 for their public sector honesty and the just-released 2016 report paints the same bleak picture we've been seeing now for two decades except it's getting worse. According to the data, despite the illusion of elected government in half the world's countries, democracy is losing. Only two countries scored 90 out of 100 this year, and just 54 of the 176 countries (30%) assessed in the report scored better than 50. Fifty percent might have constituted a pass in a High School arithmetic test, but for an elected government to be so inept at carrying out the will of the electorate, it is a clear betrayal of the people. The average country score this year is a paltry 43, indicating endemic corruption in a country's public sector is the norm. Even more damning is that more countries declined than improved in this year's results. Our analysis of TI's data shows 85 percent of human beings are governed by regimes that score 50 or less, indicating that the integrity of people in authority across the globe remains sadly lacking." schwit1 notes: "Not surprisingly, the countries at the bottom of the list are almost all Middle Eastern nations, all of whom are the source of most of the world's terrorism and Islamic madness. The few others are those trying to become communist paradises, Venezuela and North Korea." New Atlas also mentions "the latest update of the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, released on the same day as the Transparency International report, reflects an almost identical perspective. The EIU Democracy Index measures the state of democracy in 167 countries and the average global score fell from 5.55 out of 10 in 2015 to 5.52 in 2016, with 72 countries recording a lower score versus 38 which showed an improvement. You can register for free and download the EIU report here."
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New Data Shows 85% of Humans Live Under a Corrupt Government

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 27, 2017 @08:50PM (#53752439)

    Nice editorializing at the end there. You may want to mention that the least-corrupt countries on the list are Nordic states (and New Zealand) with strong social welfare systems and high taxes.

    • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:37PM (#53752629)
      There's a stark difference between social democracies that have market economies but high taxes on the wealthy (funnily enough those Nordic countries, as well as New Zealand, actually have lower corporate tax rates compared to the United States) and states that attempt to nationalize industries or use centralized planning to run their economies. Communism has been disastrous where implemented and countries which were formerly communist such as China and Vietnam have found greater prosperity in moving away from those ideals and allowing private enterprise to exist.

      It's much easier to have a good social safety net when you have citizens that are producing far more wealth in a free market system than they would otherwise do under a centrally planned system. And if you're an adamant socialist, you can usually find some kind of employee owned company even in those capitalist countries or bank at a credit union or engage with other co-ops.
      • by Shane_Optima ( 4414539 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @12:42AM (#53753249) Journal

        There's a stark difference between social democracies that have market economies but high taxes on the wealthy (funnily enough those Nordic countries, as well as New Zealand, actually have lower corporate tax rates compared to the United States) and states that attempt to nationalize industries,

        Uhh... and Norway's oil industry is what exactly?

        I'm not saying it's "communism", but nationalized industries aren't a communist-only phenomenon. There's a decent argument for direct government control whenever the industry is big enough and hard enough to break into that there really isn't going to be much room for free market magic to appear.

        Last mile internet connectivity, for example...

        • by r1348 ( 2567295 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @02:35AM (#53753495)

          Natural monopolies should be nationalized.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by johannesg ( 664142 )

          There's a rather big difference between someone successfully building an industry and the government then simply stealing it from him (i.e. nationalization), and the government setting up its own industry, especially since in the case of Norway where said industry ensures that the natural wealth of Norway benefits everyone in the country, instead of just a handful of very rich people.

          My country (the Netherlands) could have done the same thing with our natural gas supplies. Instead our government of that tim

          • by Shane_Optima ( 4414539 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @01:09PM (#53754713) Journal

            There's a rather big difference between someone successfully building an industry and the government then simply stealing it from him (i.e. nationalization), and the government setting up its own industry especially since in the case of Norway where said industry ensures that the natural wealth of Norway benefits everyone in the country, instead of just a handful of very rich people.

            What is the verb or adjective to describe an industry that the government controls but hasn't 'stolen' if not "nationalize[d]"?

            Also, that appears to be a false dichotomy since apparently the oil industry in Norway is a publicly traded company and the Norwegian government only owns 65% of it. This implies an obvious non-theft path to nationalization for an industry that for-profit entity has built up: buy them out. Eminent domain for things other than land is an interesting topic that doesn't come up nearly enough.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        and states that attempt to nationalize industries

        Such as the US automobile industry under Bush?
        You forgot that one while pushing the Party line Komrade.

        • http://www.forbes.com/sites/da... [forbes.com]

          http://www.usatoday.com/story/... [usatoday.com]

          That would be pronounced Obama. Is all your history this bad ?

      • Anecdotal, but relevant:

        A couple of years ago, my wife and I were on a free-roaming vacation and ended up in Vermont. On a Thursday night in late August, in a small town, we ended up at a very highly recommended restaurant - where there was an hour wait for a table. (Yes, it was that good.) Two seats open at the bar, though, so we sat there. Over the hour and a half that we were there, the bartender never stopped moving. She was handling all the drinks for the tables, plus serving twelve seats at the bar,
    • not why (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You don't get low corruption from "strong social welfare systems and high taxes". Those things and low corruption become possible (not ensured) when there is cultural uniformity. People think alike, worship alike, look alike, speak alike... and generally feel like extended family.

      Most people wouldn't rip off their family.

      • Re:not why (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 27, 2017 @10:06PM (#53752761)

        It's a lot easier to have national unity when there are only 6 million or less people in each country. Fun little thing from a google search. Search "nordic countries by population" and you'll get.

        The population (as estimated by the World Factbook in July of 2014) of all of the Nordic countries combined—Denmark (5,569,077), Finland (5,268,799), Iceland (317,351), Norway (5,147,792), and Sweden (9,723,809)—is roughly equal to the population of Texas.Aug 29, 2014

        We have counties in particular states with more people then any single country mentioned above.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          IMO, The main problem is not the number of people or geography. Look you may think you have vast difference between texan and new yorker, but when you scratch the paint a bit, you are much more alike than you think - at least for the big cities, outside differences are much more pronounced. If I compare, say to the difference between Germany and France in culture, habits, politics etc - even ignoring languages....

          No the great split you have is not geographical, it is political. Your great national disuni
        • by jameson ( 54982 )

          See, I've heard this argument many times, but I've never been able to wrap my head around it. If you tell me that a social system (such as a system of government) has trouble scaling from 1 to 10 people, or from 10 to 100, or from 100 to 1000, then yes, I can see that. If you tell me that it scales fine up to 1000, but has trouble scaling to 10,000, then that's a bit odd (unless we have time/storage constraints and superlinear factors, of course, but that's not really an issue here). My line of thinking

          • by Imrik ( 148191 )

            Uniformity of culture and geography plays a significant part. Also, the larger the system the more layers of overhead you get.

        • Most US states have more unity than many listed Nordic countries. Unity has little to do with corruption. Actually I retract that. Unity breeds corruption as people with power are less at risk of losing power and thus get away with far more.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          Kanada (35m population) and Germany (83m population) and Great Britain (64m population) are also social welfare states with low corruption.

        • by rbrander ( 73222 )

          Sorry? Calling from Canada, here, 35 million people scattered across a larger country than the USA, and we have had the highest immigration rate in the world (nearly 1% of the population, per year) for over 20 years; a quarter of Canada was not born here. Recently, our major donor nations are not European, but all over Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.

          And we rank pretty high on the index - just above Germany, which is over twice our size and now famous for taking in more refugees than anybody; they've ha

    • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @10:55PM (#53752947)

      You may want to mention that the least-corrupt countries on the list are Nordic states (and New Zealand) with strong social welfare systems and high taxes.

      Those aren't objectively the least-corrupt countries, they are the least corrupt countries according to what the citizens believe as measured by the CPI. Those are also countries with little foreign media; they have government-run educational systems, media, and churches; and they are small, protestant, ethnically uniform countries. It's not surprising that under those conditions, citizens believe their countries to be non-corrupt.

      are Nordic states (and New Zealand) with strong social welfare systems and high taxes.

      The Nordic countries differ on so many dimensions from other countries that there is no particular reason to attribute things you like in them to their "strong social welfare systems and high taxes". In fact, traditionally, their success was attributed to the "protestant work ethic", something that probably has more statistical support than their brief flirtation with democratic socialism. In addition, their social welfare spending and taxes are no higher than in the US.

      • by ttsai ( 135075 )

        At least the authors of these rankings couch their results as "perceptions" of corruption, which might be different from actual corruption. There seems to be a correlation between the rankings and the broadness of economic prosperity among the masses in each country. If so, perhaps, the rankings are more a measure of apathy about corruption. People that have no economic complaints may not care about corruption, and that may be measured as a lack of perception of corruption.

        • by ph1ll ( 587130 ) <ph1ll1phenryNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Saturday January 28, 2017 @05:19AM (#53753761)
          Good point. Also, Western corruption is formalized - see "Deferred Prosecution Agreements". Want to money launder for the Mexican drug cartels without anybody going to prison (HSBC)? No problem, just pay this fee. Want to bribe Asian officials and business men (Rolls Royce)? Naughty boy, just deposit this money into the UK government's bank account. Want to fraudulently issue ratings on what banks are selling (pretty much all credit rating companies pre 2008) while those banks pay you? Failure of the free market. Sure it's not your fault etc etc.
          • Yes, and here we have justice for the very rich (bankers, hedge fund operators) and the less rich(whistle blowers, people of color, etc.). Plus we have another kind of corruption, money buying power to change laws to game the system. Capital gains taxes vs income taxes, not paying for social security on capital gains vs income.
      • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @04:45AM (#53753705)

        In fact, traditionally, their success was attributed to the "protestant work ethic"

        Something they have in common with the "rust belt" and the poorest bits of the deep south.

        I know you hate the idea of people working together, but it's pretty obvious that it's the different government that has something to do with it and not just some stupid "poor people are lazy" line.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Compete rubbish. Those countries are diverse and get a huge amount for foreign media, since they have excellent English language skills. If you look on EU job boards you will find they are actively trying to recruit foreign workers, offering assistance to move families in and handle visas.

        They have low levels of corruption because they designed their governments that way and value separation of power. They have coalition, consensus politics.

        • get a huge amount for foreign media, since they have excellent English language skills

          Yes, which the educated elites listens to.

          They have low levels of corruption because they designed their governments that way and value separation of power.

          Try to give some meat to that argument.

          They have coalition, consensus politics.

          Nice, empty phrases. Also, cause vs effect.

      • Those are also countries with little foreign media; they have government-run educational systems, media, and churches; and they are small, protestant, ethnically uniform countries. It's not surprising that under those conditions, citizens believe their countries to be non-corrupt.

        You just described North Korea word for word, except for the church part, which the personality cult of our dear leader makes up for. Are you trying to tell me that New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark succeeded to convince their populations that they don't experience corruption, while North Korea failed? How the fuck did North Korea fail? They have the best of everything: no foreign media, all education, including university education, is government run, and any foreigner unfortunate enough to go there

        • You just described North Korea word for word, except for the church part

          I suspect that if a North Korean organization in North Korea went around and asked North Korean citizens whether their country was corrupt, or whether their country was the greatest country on earth, they'd rank quite well because (1) the citizens don't know any better and (2) the citizens do know that if they give the wrong answer something bad will happen to them. Do you disagree?

          In any case, my comment applied in the context of wealt

      • "they are small, protestant, ethnically uniform countries"

        Consider this for a moment, in two parts:

        - Small: Less government power, closer to the citizens. You meet your government ministers on the train, in the local coffee shop, at the grocery store. Big countries could improve their situation by removing power from the central government and putting it in the hands of local government. Even better: break up big countries into smaller ones. The EU is an experiment in the wrong direction; Brexit is one coun

    • Not to call you out, but none of the Nordic states nor New Zealand are trying to become communist. They're pretty much happy with capitalism combined with regulation from the government.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Any irrelevant ideological barrow could have been pushed from those numbers just by excluding all those people in China.
      eg. So it appears that places where people eat bread instead of rice are less corrupt. Who would have thought?
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Naaa, that could imply that other countries are doing something wrong! We cannot have that!

      What is striking though is that the countries at the top of the list are all small. Also, Switzerland is hardly a "Nordic state".

  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @08:50PM (#53752441) Journal
    I suspect that if you had a time machine and could gather data from every era of human history, you'd find that this '85%' they speak of is probably fairly consistent.
    • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:18PM (#53752575)

      I suspect that if you had a time machine and could gather data from every era of human history, you'd find that this '85%' they speak of is probably fairly consistent.

      Free and open societies (which must by necessity be relatively non-corrupt to become and remain free & open societies) are not and have not been the norm throughout history. That 85% is on the low side historically speaking.

      Strat

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        True, but that does not make it any better. It just shows that this supposedly enlightened age is anything but. Still the same failed human beings in power as always.

        On the plus side, we have finally found the person to represent this pathetic epoch of human existence. Nobody represents the caveman-in-power better then Trump and that is why he will get a place in the history-books.

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @08:53PM (#53752449)

    The Chinese are overachievers yet again. 18% of the global population, but 21% of the corruption. Bravo! :)

    • But 90%+ on the niceness scale.

      Interesting contrast with Sweden, which may not be corrupt, but let your Swedish be anything less than perfect, and you'll be treated as an outsider, no matter how long you've lived there (10 years in my case); in China, I find that my admittedly pretty horrible Mandarin is nearly always responded to with smiles and even encouragement. Make of this what you will.

      Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous Year of the Rooster from Guangzhou!

      --Z.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Have you opened a bank account, or purchased real estate in China? Or become a Chinese citizen? Heard of any foreigner becoming a Chinese citizen?

        ("The 2000 Chinese census counted just 941 naturalized citizens.")

  • WTF?! Something is obviously wrong with their methodology.
    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      What they really mean is that 15% of humans live under a government that has thus far managed to successfully conceal its corruption.

      Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Therefore, everyone in power is corrupt.

    • WTF?! Something is obviously wrong with their methodology.

      yeah the other 15% either bribed or balckmailed the researchers into changing the results in their favour

    • Or they just tweaked their definition of "corrupt" so the number was shockingly high, but not so high as to throw light on the arbitrary nature of said definition.

  • According to the report they degraded the USA from "full democracy" to "flawed democracy" in 2016 due to events happening in the country.

    This seems contradictory to Trump's announcement to clean up with the corruption in Washington, and to "dry up the swamp". Also, what is more like a democracy, a country where the mainstream media always totally agree with the government, or one in which the government has to fight the media? Isn't it a great thing that media stops believing and printing the statements of

    • He talked about "draining" a swamp, I don't think anybody said anything is going to end up dry, or that there won't still be a swamp.

    • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:07PM (#53752525) Homepage Journal

      I see you're blaming Trump for the government's behavior in 2016. Typical leftist logic.

      FYI, Trump took office in Jan 2017. Obama was the president for all of 2016.

      • FYI, Trump took office in Jan 2017. Obama was the president for all of 2016.

        Yeah, that's why USA on the map isn't orange yet.

      • by trawg ( 308495 )

        I was going to mod your down for "typical leftist" but instead I'll be optimistic.

        I get most of my insight about American politics from Slashdot as it's one of the few places I read with comments that I can stand.

        In most political posts this kind of expression is really common - something is "typically right" or "typically left". But the examples are always completely fucking identical! I've lost count of the number of times that I've read here comments like "typical Republican blah blah - you're complainin

    • by Motard ( 1553251 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:14PM (#53752549)

      According to the report they degraded the USA from "full democracy" to "flawed democracy" in 2016

      Well then, they're morons because the USA has never been a 'full democracy'. Once everything shook out after the revolution, the USA was a democratic republic.

      Institutions like the Electoral College were meant to be a check against the stupidity of the masses that might elect a Trump. But idiots clamored for more power by virtue of their numbers. So state governments neutered their own congressional delegations by requiring that they vote for the popular choice.

      The result? Trump. And people clamoring for more democracy.

      • by mx+b ( 2078162 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @12:34AM (#53753223)

        Institutions like the Electoral College were meant to be a check against the stupidity of the masses that might elect a Trump.

        That's not entirely accurate. This history of it is a bit more nuanced. Effectively, the larger northern colonies that opposed slavery would have always won the presidency against the smaller southern states that wanted to maintain slavery. Southern states were afraid that in a pure democracy (one person, one vote), the north would always win elections and therefore set the agenda and force them to do things against their will: in particular, force them to give up slavery. Several states refused to sign on to the new Constitution if it was set up this way. So the compromise was to allow an electoral college, House by population by an equal vote for each state in Senate, to make it more "fair" toward the south so they would agree to it.

        If that didn't happen, the US would have remained under the Articles of Confederation, which was too weak to really hold the nation together. The Confederation did not give Congress authority to do many things that were discovered required during the Revolutionary War. To some degree, Congress acted out of the bounds of law (their mandate from the states) to continue the war and draft the Constitution in the first place; they were initially only to make some minor changes to the Confederation, but majority of delegates decided that wouldn't be enough on their own.

        To be fair, there was certainly fear from some early leaders about pure democracy, equating it to effectively mob rule. There were also concerns that foreign entities (particularly British spies at the time) would attempt to influence our elections. But the anti-federalists were very strongly pro-democracy. The federalists won the battle of words in the constitution at first, but the Federalist party quickly died out and was replaced by the anti-federalists under Jefferson. The anti-federalists splintered into today's Republican and Democratic parties. So effectively, most of our history has been very democratic and states' rights, even if some (not all) of founders thought closer to what you think.

        But idiots clamored for more power by virtue of their numbers. So state governments neutered their own congressional delegations by requiring that they vote for the popular choice.

        The result? Trump. And people clamoring for more democracy.

        The history of the the 17th amendment is also complex. In a nutshell, the people clamored for direct election to stop corruption. Prior to this, the state legislators chose Senators, which as you can guess meant they were very prone to bribery and intimidation to get certain people selected for the Senate. Also, it was easy for state legislatures to get stuck without choosing anyone because of political infighting, meaning that some states would often not be represented in the Senate for lengths of time while state legislatures argued.

        It was an interesting idea, but didn't appear to work out that great in practice, so we changed it. As the Constitution was specifically written to do, via amendments.

        I think we need to continue the fight against corruption by opening our system up to even more democratic measures. Much corruption comes today from our laws effectively requiring a two-party political system (so many committees require equal numbers of GOP and Dems, for example, as if those parties were written into the constitution; they weren't, and in fact a good chunk of the Federalist Papers goes on about how corruption and political parties are the worst things that could happen to our country). I think changing to a different voting method (Approval, Score, or Ranked Choice Voting) would eliminate the "spoiler" effect and allow citizens to vote for who they actually think is the best for the job, and not just to "stop" the "other" candidate.

      • by ttsai ( 135075 )

        Every society has been a completely "full democracy" based on the historical definition of full democracy as restricted to an elite ruling class. This is certainly the case for the prototypical full democracy of ancient Greece where slaves and women were non-participants in the full democracy.

        There has never been a true full democracy of any society except for those societies of sufficiently small size, e.g., for my one-person society.

      • Their definition of democracy is not "the citizens themselves vote on every issue". Not even the Swiss have that much democracy (they only hold referendums on key issues). Thus, thanks for erecting a straw man and then obliterating it, but what they label democracy is really a democratic republic. It's an understandable mistake; the US itself has constantly referred to its wars as "bringing democracy", rather than "bringing democratic republicanism".

        Having cleared that up, would you describe the US as a ful

    • by lister king of smeg ( 2481612 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:16PM (#53752561)

      According to the report they degraded the USA from "full democracy" to "flawed democracy" in 2016 due to events happening in the country.

      This seems contradictory to Trump's announcement to clean up with the corruption in Washington, and to "dry up the swamp". Also, what is more like a democracy, a country where the mainstream media always totally agree with the government, or one in which the government has to fight the media? Isn't it a great thing that media stops believing and printing the statements of the government as facts and starts creating fact checking teams?

      You see the "correct" cannidate lost and but would (might have hypothitcly) have won if the rules were changed different AND the cannidates campaigned the same. So Obviously it had nothing to do with the Correct cannidate being a uncharismatic unexciting corupt crook that would be a rerun of the same administration from the 90s without the womanising and charisma of their other half. So because NY and CA didn't get their way we are a broken democracy.

      (I didn't vote for trump or clinton but I did vote)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hey! ( 33014 )

        The system is as it is precisely to make it possible for a president to be elected where the majority of people don't want him.

        If you are claiming that that is not really a significant possibility, then you should have no problem going to a straight popular vote. If you object to a straight popular vote, then it means that you believe such a vote would generate different results.

      • There was significant corruption on both sides. The DNC shenanigans on one side and the fake news / Putin interference on the other. Now it's getting worse though. Conflicts of interest, alternative facts, open hostility toward the press... I predict at some point only sympathetic media outlets will be allowed in the press room and that's the definition of corruption. I expect next year USA will drop behind some middle east countries.
      • I knew trump and Clinton were yapping, but to declare them dog ;)
      • by Z80a ( 971949 )

        Well, on the end of the day, its still correct.
        A corrupt crook manipulated the system to get herself and the worst candidate possible the runners and still managed to lose to him.

    • That's stupid. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:17PM (#53752569)

      America was never a full democracy, it is and always has been a republic, and the difference fucking matters.

      It has also been deeply flawed for a very long time. The democratic process is largely smoke-and-mirrors now, with a group of wealthy elites calling the shots.

      Trump winning the presidency is an amazing about-face on that front, with the will of voters actually being imposed upon the established power base despite its preferences. Yes, I know Trump lost the popular vote. No, that isn't what I am talking about. Skip the pedantry and semantics and my meaning will become clear...Trump wasn't just an upset for democrats and liberals, Trump was also an upset for the established crop of power-holders, and THAT is the unusual result.

      Trump's victory doesn't make this democracy flawed. The flaws are deeper, and older, and I am pretty sure Trump won't be able to fix them even if he tries.

      • Re:That's stupid. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:31PM (#53752625)

        "Trump was also an upset for the established crop of power-holders, and THAT is the unusual result."

        Correction: "Trump was also an upset for the established crop of non-billionaire power-holders, and THAT is the unusual result."

        Now the billionaires control the political offices directly and cut out the middle men... before they had to pay people to do their bidding.

        Yipeee!!!!!

      • America was never a full democracy, it is and always has been a republic, and the difference fucking matters.

        The difference may matter, depending on context. In the context of this study, 'Republic' is a subset of 'Democracy'. Democracy also contains various combinations of monarchy+parliament. The other broad category (Dictatorship) has flavors varying from the classical dictator to oligarchy and theocracy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Trump claiming to "Drain the swamp" is more of those "alternative facts"

  • With a score of 47, Italy ties with Cuba. That seems very unlikely.
  • I want ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:16PM (#53752567)

    ... less corruption. Or more opportunity to participate in it.

    • by shanen ( 462549 )

      Well merited mod, and as usual with the best humor, plenty of insight, too. The comments that were actually moderated insightful fell rather short. As usual.

      What I was looking for on the insightful side was some realization of the imminent corruption of #PresidentTweety, perhaps even a prediction of how far America's ranking will fall over the next year or two. I'm thinking short term because I'm still hoping that Trump will get Bill-Cosby-ed out of office relatively quickly. Pence is only gawdawful relativ

  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @09:20PM (#53752581)
    The other 15â... run that corrupt government.
  • or you'll fall prey to the big con. Here in the States we just elected a Simpson's punchline based largely on a private email server.
  • Greenland, Iceland and Canada are I believe the only ones left, and I am not so sure about canada... Countries played their hands when the crash hit in 2008. The countries that bailed out the rich instead of the citizens proved who was the corrupt ones.

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Friday January 27, 2017 @10:39PM (#53752889)

    It's the corruption perception index; it reflects what people believe about their country. People believing that their country is democratic isn't the same as their country actually being democratic.

  • I think it is about the same all over the world. The same as violence against women, it's about 30% everywhere, 1 of 3 women, by the WHO statistics:
    http://www.who.int/reproductiv... [who.int]

    Recall what was in John Podesta email messages, which became known just by a mere accident, because he did not use two steps authentication on his Gmail. It is about the same everywhere, as it is a property of Homo Sapiens.
  • Fifty percent might have constituted a pass in a High School arithmetic test

    .
    I don't know what high school that might be, the one I attended a score of 85% was a failing grade.

  • Where did the USA fall on the corruption index?
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by loufoque ( 1400831 )

      It's 18th least corrupt on a list of 176.
      This is, of course, unlikely.

      Looks like the people that made this study were probably American and corrupt too.

  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @06:40AM (#53753891) Journal

    Hi there, I live in Vietnam. I just saw a govt. owned newspaper (tuoi tre news) say that the Prime Minister thinks Vietnam could be the home of a tech giant like Google, Facebook, etc.

    I don't think so. They have a comments section (most likely to find troublemakers like me) but I've been so frustrated that I decided to send the following reply. (If I start posting from another country, you'll know what happened).

    ************ In response to the PM saying that Vietnam could be the home to a tech giant **************
    While I wish what PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said would happen, I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Certainly there is potential in Vietnam. In my almost 10 years here, I've been impressed by the ambition, hard work ethic and focus on education that is a hallmark of the Vietnamese people. IF they think their efforts will be rewarded, the Vietnamese work just as hard the Chinese, Japanese or even Koreans (my ethnicity :); this is no doubt due to their shared confucian cultural heritage. This is in contrast to their S.E. Asian neighbors who have a more relaxed buddhist/muslim/hindu approach to life. Whether or not this "better" depends on what you think the purpose of life is, however for getting ahead in a material world it is obvious which one is more focused on the here and now instead of the hereafter (or previous life).

    Unfortunately due to the, there is no way to beat around the bush, CORRUPTION in Vietnam, this potential is wasted or going abroad. I'm not singling Vietnam out, fully 85% of humanity lives under a corrupt government (http://bit.ly/2kd9LNc). However no country has created a global (tech) giant without getting corruption at least somewhat under control. I'm afraid Vietnam is far from close to doing so.

    I speak from experience, I had two successful (if small) high tech companies in the U.S. before coming to Ho Chi Minh City almost 10 years ago to retire. Now, with time on my hands I've been toying around with they idea of starting a bio-tech company utilizing the latest techniques in DNA nanopore sequencing along with bioinformatics (hopefully enhanced by machine learning). However, I've found the bureaucratic hurdles to be almost unsurmountable. Just getting a simple chemical in Vietnam, a process that is literally overnight in the U.S. takes up to two months. Getting customs approval for more advanced material has been a nightmare; many times shipments are delayed on items that must be kept below freezing. I'm sure some of them have been damaged as a result.

    No, much more likely than Vietnam growing its own tech giant, would it contribute to one in another country. This would follow in the fine tradition of Syria (Steve Jobs), South Africa (Elon Musk), Russia (Google founders), Andy Grove (Intel, Czech) who all went to America. Not that America is immune; now that the Trump has come, the republican party has already tried to get rid of anti-corruption efforts and his wealthy white cabinet (and himself!) are filled with major conflict of interest problems. It's sad, the people who believe Hillary was corrupt, instead of just ambitious (and what presidential candidate isn't?), were the reason why Fake news (and Russian involvement) succeeded. However, the U.S. still has many fantastic strengths, Vietnam not so much. So, while I can easily see the next tech giant being founded/run by a Vietnamese (in fact I know of someone who is well on his way to doing so in the next big thing in biotech :) I'm afraid it won't be in Vietnam.

    Vietnam has been good to me, I've actually been able to gain a level of proficiency in genetics at a university here (thank you International University!) and maybe I'll even be able to repay the country a bit by doing something here (if the government doesn't kick me out). However, to really be successful, I'll need to go somewhere that doesn't require a "expedited fee" to get things done or regulations whose only purpose is to elicit said fees.

    New Zealand anyone?

  • by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @01:06PM (#53754705)

    "Power corrupts" isn't just an adage, it's a genuine psychological phenomenon. The corruption is exacerbated when it's wielded in an institutional environment like a government. Look no further than the Stanford Prison Experiments. In the course of only six days, a group of healthy, psychologically stable people who were elevated to a position of power became so abusive that the experiment had to be stopped.

    Big government is corrupt at an institutional level that transcends the people who happen to be in charge at any one time. The communists and socialists argue that their systems would work if only the "right people" were in charge. The framers of The U.S. Constitution understood that there are no "right people" and the only way to keep corruption and abuse under control is to limit and decentralize the power of government. It was good while it lasted. In the current USA government, where 535 people control a $4 TRILLION annual budget, corruption is 100% guaranteed.

"Nuclear war can ruin your whole compile." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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