Looking at Corruption: China vs. the United States

September 24, 2013

During National Library Week a few years ago, I attended the Golden Leaves event at Cal Poly Pomona’s University Library. Afterwards, I joined a conversation about China, and one American citizen who had never been to China mentioned the corruption in China and how flawed their legal system was. He was adamant that China had to change and become more democratic. He also said there were a lot of angry people in China who wanted change—how did he know that?

However, there are two sides to every story, and “While the true extent and cost of white-collar crime (in the United States) are unknown, it is estimated to cost the United States more than $300 billion annually, according to the FBI.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Wall Street corruption and greed in America that caused the 2007/08 global financial crises may have led to global losses of at least $15 Trillion.

In addition, a United Nations report says that by the end of 2009, the global increase in jobless persons was 27 million more than in 2007 before the financial crises hit—should we say, “Thank you, America?”

What about China?

The Economist’s View says, “For one thing, the Chinese trust their government more. According to a recent World Values Survey, 96.7 percent of Chinese expressed confidence in their government, compared to only 37.3 percent of Americans.

“Likewise, 83.5 percent of Chinese thought their country is run for all the people, rather than for a few big interest groups, whereas only 36.7 percent of Americans thought the same of their country. With this relatively higher trust, China’s government and enterprises are better able to enact and implement strict policies that promote saving and growth.”

I wonder if all the greed and corruption in China will ever threaten the global economy and cost millions of people jobs.

And what about corruption in India, the democracy next door to China? We seldom if ever hear anyone criticizing India for corruption. However, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranks India as more corrupt than China. In fact, there are 108 countries of 183 listed as more corrupt than China.

Why does the Western media focus so much attention on China when it comes to the topic of corruption while mostly ignoring the 108 countries worse than China? I mean, even Thailand—a staunch US ally—is more corrupt than China, and Mexico is worse than Thailand and India!

Discover China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

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The real “INFAMOUS” role model of scandals and corruption- Part 2/3

July 31, 2012

Frisky.com offers a comparison/score of sex scandals between democrats and republicans. The low score wins (see Frisky.com for the details).

Final score: Republicans 67 and Democrats 75

Next, Kickin’ the Darkness.com says, “It’s easy to find Democrats in sex scandals, and Republicans in financial ones, but there just seems to be a party-dependent bias in the nature of scandals… Those principles to which a party most strongly clings seem to also be the ones on which their weaker members seem most likely to stumble.”

However, Salem News.com said, “Republican Sex Scandals Dwarf Those of Democrats  (if you click on the link and scroll down, you will see a long detailed list of republicans and their sex scandals) in the last decade…” and Nerve.com claims, “Republican sex scandals outnumber Democrat sex scandals two to one…”

Then the Washington Monthly reported, “As a rule, when a high-profile U.S. senator is facing a criminal investigation, the media shows at least some interest. When that investigation involves sex, the media tends to show quite a bit of interest… Here we have John Ensign, a ‘family values’ conservative Republican, who had an extra-marital sexual relationship with his friend’s wife, while condemning others’ moral failings. Ensign’s parents offered to pay hush-money. He ignored ethics laws and tried to use his office to arrange lobbying jobs for his mistress’ husband. The likelihood of Ensign being indicted seems fairly high… And yet, there’s no media frenzy. No reporters staked out in front of Ensign’s home. No op-eds speculating about the need for Ensign to resign in disgrace. Instead, the media’s fascinated with Charlie Rangel.”


United States: A Long History of Political Corruption

Then from a known conservative media source, Fox Business.com listed America’s Most Corrupt States in March 2012, and the top eight are listed below.

Taking it further, I researched each of these states to see which political party the governor belonged to and which party held the majority in both houses of each state legislature, which Fox did not do.

The most corrupt states in America according to Fox Business.com:

8. Michigan — Republican governor and both houses controlled by the GOP
7. North Dakota — Republican governor and both houses controlled by the GOP
6. South Carolina — Republican governor and both houses controlled by the GOP
5. Maine — Republican governor and both houses controlled by the GOP
4. Virginia — Republican governor and both houses controlled by the GOP
3. Wyoming — Republican governor and both houses controlled by the GOP
2. South Dakota — Republican governor and both houses controlled by the GOP
1. Georgia — Republican governor and both houses controlled by the GOP

According to Fox, states with stagnant political environments often encourage corruption. Governments with high levels of corruption tend to have a political party—either the Democrats or Republicans—in power for too long. The states that have had a “machine” in place for a long time often tend to be the most corrupt. Machines tend to want to protect themselves.

It would seem from this Fox Business.com report, that there isn’t much of a difference between the US and China—in fact, many in China complain of corruption but most believe it takes place at the provincial or city level and that the national leaders in Beijing are honest. The difference is that corruption and scandals in the US often start at the state level and lead to Washington D.C. and even, at times, the White House.

Continued August 1, 2012 in The real “INFAMOUS” role model of scandals and corruption – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The real “INFAMOUS” role model of scandals and corruption- Part 1/3

July 30, 2012

When I saw the cover of Time Magazine’s May 14, 2012 issue, “The People’s Republic of Scandal—Murder. Lies. Corruption. Can China face the truth?“, I thought about the US, which often ignores and/or conveniently forgets the history of scandals at home while pointing fingers at other countries–China is often used as a scapegoat to divert Americans from the political corruption at home.

For example, a report by Steven P. Lanza at the University of Connecticut included a chart that shows “How States Rank in Political Corruption” with Virginia leading the pack with about 1,100 convictions between 1986-1995 and Vermont coming in last with almost zero convictions.

In fact, the reason most American’s do not read or hear about scandals and corruption in the United States as much as they should is because the media often ignores news that happens so often it is considered too common.  For example, murder and the number of people held in prisons in the United States compared to China.

According to the Tizona Group, “approximately 45 murders are committed each day in the U.S.”

When someone challenged that number in a comment, tizona replied that the FBI in 2006 (and provided a link) reported 17,034 murders and when that number was divided by 365 days, it was almost 47 murders a day.

Can you imagine more than 45 daily, front-page stories reporting nothing but murders in the United States?

In fact, The International Homicide Comparison says in the US that there are 4.8 murders for each 100,000 people, while China has 1.12 murders per 100,000 but Time Magazine doesn’t mention those facts in its cover story.

When we compare all of the Americas with East and Southeast Asia, the facts are not pretty. The Americas had 15.5 murders per 100,000 people while the number for all of East Asia is 3 per 100,000.  The Americas may have more freedom than people in East Asia but what good is that so-called freedom when your odds of being murdered are more than five times higher? Source: List of Countries by International Homicide rate

As for the number of people locked up, Daily Paul (Ron Paul’s site) reported that there were 2,019,234 prisoners in the United States, winning first place for the world, while China came in second with 1,549,000 prisoners but Ron Paul’s site did not mention the disparity in population—the US has about 300 million people to China’s 1.3 billion, which translated to 715 people in prison for each 100,000 for the US and China doesn’t even make the top ten.  In fact, China ranks #71 globally, while the US is still number ONE in a category that should say, “Shame on you. What are you doing wrong in that country, and should the world really hold the United States up as an example of anything except consumerism?

However, all those facts aside, in the next two posts, let’s examine what I found researching political scandals and corruption of one kind or another between the American Democratic and Republican Parties.

Continued July 31, 2012 in The real “INFAMOUS” role model of scandals and corruption – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Comparing India and China’s Potential for Economic Growth

December 30, 2011

The cover for The Economist of October 2 – 8, 2010, placed a bet on India in an economic race with China.

The Economist wants India to win this race, because India is a democracy as is the U.S., but what isn’t mentioned is that China is evolving into a republic closer to the original republic that the United States was in 1776 with a Chinese twist, which is what Dr. Sun Yat-sen wanted.

Some claim China is ruled be a dictator today but that is not true. China is a republic that is guided by the word of law, which is the essence of a Republic.  In 1982, China wrote a new Constitution that spelled out the law and China’s schoolchildren are taught what these laws mean and how to live with them. However, the Chinese Constitution is not the same as the one in the US, so the laws are different.

I opened The Economist magazine and read the two pieces the cover was about. One was India’s surprising economic miracle and the second piece was A bumpier but freer road.

On page 11, I read, “many observers think China has done a better job than India of curbing corruption…”

On page 77, a Western banker was quoted saying, “It’s much easier to deal with the well-understood ‘organization chart’ of China Inc than the freewheeling chaos of India.”

Corruption exists in every country and Transparency International attempts to define and identify what global corruption looks like. Comparing China and India, we discover that while India’s corruption appears to be getting worse, corruption in China is improving due to the evolution of its new legal system.

In fact, in the past 3 years, the perception of corruption in India was 74%, [in the United States that perception was 72%], while in China it was only 46%.

In addition, the BBC reported recently, “Widespread corruption in India costs billions of dollars and threatens to derail the country’s growth…”

After I read both pieces in The Economist comparing China with India, it was obvious that India would never beat China economically without controlling its corruption, shrinking severe poverty and increasing literacy. Overall, the latest World Bank data shows that India’s poverty rate is 27.5% [330 million people], based on India’s current poverty line of $1.03 per person per day and an illiteracy rate of almost 26% [312 million people].

In comparison, literacy in China is more than 94% and the World Bank says in 2004, people in China living in poverty represented 2.8% of the population.

There are more reasons The Economist is wrong about India winning this economic race just because it is a democracy. One reason is that America’s Founding Fathers hated democracy and had a good reason.

Live Journal goes into detail on this topic. Live Journal says, “It would be an understatement to say that the (U.S.) Founding Fathers hated democracy. They warned against it vehemently and relentlessly. They equated it–properly–with mob rule.”

 

The Founders of the US, who hated democracy, built a free country [a republic]. Our [meaning many Americans] ignorance of history, which has led to a love of democracy, is causing the US to surrender its freedoms at an alarming rate.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1866 – 1925), known as the father of modern China [by both China and Taiwan], said he wanted to model China’s government after America but by combining Western thought with Chinese tradition.

When he said this, it was 1910, and America, by definition, was still a republic. Once you read the two pieces in The Economist, you may understand why India’s democracy cannot beat China’s growing republic.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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 This revised and edited post first appeared October 13, 2010.