Corruption abounds

If you have read my earlier posts, you may recall that I cite the comments of a missionary in Nigeria who has lived in the world of disenfranchisement for many years. He believes the global corruption is one of the top three concerns in the world behind global poverty and climate change.

He sees corruption standing in the way of doing positive things and sowing the seeds of poverty and disenfranchisement. This lays the ground work for extremists who seize opportunity to say we can help. On “Real Time with Bill Maher” the other night, Raihan Salam, a frequent guest, made the astute comment that the extremists swim in the sea of the disenfranchised and woo them to consider working for them.

But, the corruption fuels the fire of poverty and disenfranchisement. A significant investigative journalistic effort has just been published which documents the pervasive nature of this corruption. It referenced as the Panama Papers and can be found with the following link:

This stuff makes my skin crawl. It has been happening for years, whether it is a democratic, communistic, or totalitarian regime. You need only to think of the Robber Baron period in US history and consider the undue influence of an oligarchy of leaders today. Some in the oligarchy are attempting to unwind laws that affect their ability to influence and make even more money.

You can remember George Orwell’s book “Animal Farm,” who described how the pigs lived in the house while others toiled under communism. You can see why Putin is able to control power by making his oligarchy wealthy. You can ask how did Hosni Mubarak have $81 Billion in wealth when deposed, while his Egyptian people tried to get by on $2 a day. You can consider the vast nepotism in Saudi Arabia, where the ruling families live a much better life than others in a very rich country.

History has two basic truisms. People will die once they are born. And, people who have, will take advantage of people who do not. We must guard against this, which is why Teddy Roosevelt fought so hard against the Robber Barons. Everyone deserves a “square deal” as he called it. A chance to live a reasonable life and feed, clothe and protect their family. What is interesting is the data shows “we do well, when we all do well,” which is a quote from Franklin Roosevelt. When too much goes to too few, we suffer more and the economy does not reach its full potential.

Please read this article. And, then begin asking questions of our leaders.


21 thoughts on “Corruption abounds

    • Thanks for the link. I keep thinking of the book and movie The Firm whose main purpose was to launder money for criminals in shell companies. I saw where Putin said this was a ruse by the West to discredit him. Maybe he forgot his role in stealing corporations and intellectual capital.

  1. I found it odd that there were no North American politicians or well known businessmen in the list. And then I found out it’s mostly because we have made it so easy for them to form shell companies in the US.
    In the British virgin Islands you have to declare who is opening the company – in Nevada, you don’t.

    There is still a ton of data to go through, so more Americans may show up, but apparently we have spent so much time creating a massive loophole system right here that – yeah they don’t have as much need for offshore. So there is likely to be a whole lot fewer US citizens period.

    This article is well worth reading.

    • Thanks for the link and comment. 60 Minutes did a piece about two years ago on how wealthier our legislators are when they leave office than when they come in. They are allowed to trade on inside information. Plus, the lobbyist jobs when they leave are a nice retirement.

  2. Horrible, horrible horrible!! We spend our lives following the “rules” for fear of consequence. Meanwhile over at the rich & famous ….
    I can only hope that a young eager tech kid is on the brink of exposing all of the corruption here in the states. Lord knows he has his hands full working on that project!

    • Lisa, it is horrible. We need bright lights shined on these sources to make the roaches scatter. Will it change behavior? Probably not, but they need to exposed when caught. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: I left off the most visible corruption scandal down in Brazil. The president may be impeached and her predecessor, whom she just hired to protect him may go to jail for corruption issues. With the scary Zika virus, construction issues and water quality issues, the Olympics do not look like they will pay a ROI.

  4. Note to Readers: Two immediate and interesting actions which are telling. The Prime Minister of Iceland resigned yesterday as a result of the notoriety and pressure. On the flip side, Vladimir Putin blamed the West for trying to discredit him. Putin is a crook in every sense of the world stealing money and businesses from people who tried invest and work in Russia.

    • Agreed. We can try, but it is hard for the wolves to change out of their sheep’s clothing. They will say they agree and stick to their business of making money.

  5. It is indeed frightening to realize that our enemies are our friends in corruption. The sheer scale is stunning. I believe the fear of corruption is what has pushed Bernie so much farther than anyone expected. He seems more trustworthy and believable than the other candidates. (But who knows? Corruption is so insidious.P

    • Pogo was right. I agree on Bernie going far on this basis. Whether folks agree with all of Bernie’s solutions, he is dead on accurate on this one.

  6. Note to Readers: PBS Newshour did a report on the pervasive corruption in Kenya which goes from the top to the bottom. The police force shakes down people for bribes, so much the crooks can buy them off and people who complain about the corruption go to jail. Per the report, a billon dollars raised from a bond referendum is missing. The difference between the haves and have nots is startling and lays the conditions for terrorists to recruit with the level of disenfranchisement.

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