Thursday, March 15, 2012

Politicians and public service: snouts in the public trough

I thought this was an interesting little snippet of information from the Economist Magazine about corruption in government service. Look where the greatest numbers are from; the District of Columbia.

Isn't that Washington DC? I think that what DC stands for is District of Columbia isn't it?

And if my memory serves me right this is the city where the government of the United States is headquartered, or should I say, the elected representatives who represent the unelected group that actually governs society.  Blagojecvich, the former governor of Illinois will be starting his 14 year prison sentence for bribery, wire fraud and "trying to sell a Senate seat", says the Economist.  The magazine points out that he is the fourth governor of Illinois "out of the last seven to be convicted."  That's a staggering figure when we think about it and confirms what most Americans think about our government; that they are all crooks.

Illinois has seen 1,828 public corruption convictions between 1976 and 2010, the Economist adds. The respected economic journal informs us that:  
report by the University of Illinois at Chicago estimates that corruption costs the state more than $500m a year. Two states had even higher numbers of appointees, government employees (and a few private individuals) convicted of public corruption: New York, with 2,522 convictions and California with 2,345 convictions. Of the largest states though, Illinois had the highest per person conviction rate, at 1.4 per 10,000 population. With little over 600,000 residents, the District of Columbia had a rate of nearly 17. This is partly because the Justice Department and other federal agencies with headquarters in DC try some corruption cases there irrespective of where the offence took place.

Isn't freedom swell!

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