Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Corruption Perceptions Index 2013

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, the U.S. comes in at #19 (out of 177) while Argentina is waaaaay down the list at #106. And Uganda, where we spent a year, is even further down the index at #140. It's fun to use the interactive world map and see where different countries fall in the ratings.

I think it's pretty accurate. Before we went to Uganda we paid for one-year VISAs, but upon our arrival they refused to accept them and we had to do the paperwork all over again. It took 9 months, untold trips into Kampala by "Uncle" Sam*, and a chunk of money. [*No, I'm not referring to the U.S. government; "Uncle" Sam was on staff at Kasana Children's Center and his full-time job was handling the mounds of paperwork required by the government. Everyone on staff was called "Uncle" or "Auntie". But I digress...]

One of Ivan's responsibilities while there was to serve as the titular head of the vocational school, where they taught auto mechanics and various building trades. An NGO in Europe (non-profit organization) had donated equipment for the school to use, and the container arrived some months before we did. It was not released from customs until well after we left; I think it was held up in customs for over two years altogether.

These things are common, as different officials use their positions to get bribes or other types of benefits. We've heard of instances where mail was intercepted, items removed and replaced with cheap junk. And the list goes on...

You know I've made no secret of the hassle we've had since moving to Argentina, with everything from getting our permanent residency status to trying to get money into the country to buy our property... No wonder my mantra has become "¡Es lo que hay!"

So whenever you're tempted to complain about something in the states, take a minute and reflect on how much worse it is in 90% of the rest of the world!


Skoots1moM said...

however, we should all complain loudly...with our VOTING and letter writing...I believe they can still make a difference here. It is so disappointing watching people think they HAVE to accept things that are going on now. I'm praying we RISE UP and take our country back ... so it can be the REPUBLIC it was born as...I'm done now. have a nice night.

Mari said...

Very interesting! And a good reminder to me when I complain. Skoots is right though - we need to pray and vote and take our country back.

Kimberly Hoyt said...

Oh, I agree! I was referring to our complaints about dealing with the DMV or when our mail takes longer to arrive than we think it should or when we're filling out the paperwork for our kids to go to college… They all seem to take big chunks of our time and we get frustrated, but those type of things that take hours (or a couple days) in the U.S. can take weeks, months or years in other countries.
I remember reading an article years ago about an international study that was done to determine how long it takes, on average, to set up a legitimate business in various countries. They were able to file the necessary paperwork within a day or so in the U.S. and begin operating. In some countries it took a week, other countries it took up to a month, a few more it took some months, and in a few countries it took a year or longer! That's the kind of thing that can make a person give up in frustration. I mean seriously, how many will hang in there for over a year, doing more and more paperwork, so they can have a little store? And then, if they're in Argentina, get hassled with more and more paperwork, surprise "inspections" and so on that are simply more ways for officials to demand bribes?

The Bug said...

Just the other day I was reading the blog of someone in England who was talking about how long it took to get a package there - and I was reminded again how lucky we are here in the US with services like that!