Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The root of all evil: Corruption

So the other day I was watching a talk show in Univision. Only because it was on a TV in a waiting room. And it was pretty much about this dude who can't "find work", just like every other talk show in a Spanish network. The guy happens to be an illegal immigrant who left his country because there was no "work" there, and now is having problems at the US because of "the economy".

So I ponder out loud: "Is it that in (random country) nothing pops up after you plant a seed?"I mean if it were a desert country I could understand people jumping the border, but whats up with these people? Both countries are made of the same kind of dirt, have the same kind of air and water. Both have the same resources at their disposal. What is wrong then?

The answer came swift. "It's the corruption" said my wife.

Of course! I mean there is rampant corruption over here, but I guess it's not as bad. In most of these countries the rich people run the show. And you're either filthy rich or poor. The big fish will eat the small fish. There is no middle class because of this. Most people own nothing, they can't even plant a seed to feed themselves, because they don't own any dirt! They have to work for the man, just like feudal times.

The most common definition of corruption is the abuse of power. Like the case before in which those with wealth will exploit the poor. Another example is when those in a position of leadership abuse this authority. The interesting thing is that you may notice most of these cases, the corrupt entity obtains it's power from the masses in a non-forceful manner.

So to stop corruption all one has to do is deny these entities this power, be it wealth or authority. In an extreme circumstance one could take it away, but I'm no big fan of violence, so lets just consider denial. To stop giving.

Denial of wealth: Most probably you've read or at least know something about The Wal-Mart Effect (a long and tedious book about the effects of said stores in the world, not just the economy). Well, I'm not saying read it and follow it like a bible, but knowing that kinda stuff will make you think twice where do you spend your money, and it's not about Wal-Mart at all. The dilemma is similar to that of buying stolen goods, you get the stuff for cheap (It's a steal!) but you are actually paying a person to steal! Think about where your money is going. Here's a hint: the dollar is going to where that immigrant I mentioned before is going, to where the factories are!

Denial of authority: Ah, if you're among the lucky that l.ive in a democracy, this one's a piece of cake! When your turn comes to vote. Think about who you're voting for. Whow much did they spend in a campaigh? Why are they selling themselves like a can of pepsi? Who is paying for this advertisement and what will they ask for in return? (read: Denial of wealth) Think about where your vote is going, and ask yourself why aren't there more options.

Yeah. That's pretty much it.