Monday, October 24, 2011

Corruption in America?!

A couple of years ago I was on vacation in Chile and happened to pick up a book on doing business with America. I was very surprised to see a note of caution about the level of corruption one should expect to find. The booklet ranked the U.S. in 16th place on the list of corrupt nations. I always figured we were one of the least corrupt nations and was very surprised at this perception. I just checked the 2010 rankings and we have slipped to 20th place, just ahead of Uraguay. Apparently the perception of corruption in America by the international community is growing. See CorruptionPerceptionsIndex

Then I picked up the latest copy of Time magazine and read an article about corruption in the U.S. in which Mr. Zakaria states that Senator John McCain "pointed to the tax code as the foundation for corruption of American politics. Special interests pay politicians vast amounts of cash for their campaigns, and in return they get favorable exemptions or credits in the tax code. In other countries this sort of bribery takes place underneath bridges and with cash in brown envelopes. In America it is institutionalized and legal, but it is the same - cash for politicians in return for favorable treatment from the government. The U.S. tax system is not simply corrupt; it is corrupt in a deceptive manner that has degraded the entire system of American government. Congress is able to funnel vast sums of money to its favored funders through the tax code - without anyone realizing it."

Yes, it appears you can fool the people most of the time. We have been treated as fools by politicians and greedy corporations. Our system has become corrupt - it is broken. That's why the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street protests are taking place. We, the people, are now paying the price of allowing corrupt politicians, business leaders, and practices to flourish in America for decades. If you're religious, you know God is going to teach us a very bitter lesson over an extended period of time until we change our practices. Wake up America!

What are the solutions? Repentance? Holding leaders accountable? Punishing corrupt business leaders? Removing corrupt politicians by your vote? Not just paying attention to words, but actions and outcomes. Being relentless in protecting our country from these internal threats over the next decade and beyond. Tax code reform?

What 'serious' solutions do you think are needed? Share your serious views and recommendations with us.

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