Saturday, December 21, 2002

Transparency international has issued a report on the biggest cases of government and business corruption in 2002. Those guys are going to be pretty upset if there are any huge scandals in the next week or so. I think they do lots of good work, so I would hate to see them jump the gun.

Most of the cases of government occur in countries with a PCI index of worse than 5.2, which is the rating for Italy. The other cases are all what I would consider developing countries, except for Italy and (depending how you see it) Pakistan. There are disagreements on exactly what the Transparency International Perceived Corruption Index measures, but I have not seen any equally serious attempts to find an objective measure of corruption.

Of course most of the major cases of business corruption involve big companies of industrialized countries, but that's probably because they have many more large profitable companies - and we have more information available on them.

Speaking of the PCI index, look at the top of the list - the countries considered least corrupt. Some of the countries there, such as Denmark, have high tax rates to finance their social problems. I'm still trying to find out why people don't start to feel the government must be wasting some of their money when they get the tax bill - any Danish readers want to help me out? The only English language Danish newspaper I managed to locate at seemed to concentrate mostly on local news.

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