Corruption has always been a matter of interest for me.
Now I have been living about 10 years in a corrupt country: Brazil.
Coming from Sweden, a county with low corruption.
There are many countries who are worse than Brazil, who is on place 72 on the 2007 CPI list of perception of corruption.
Brazil is getting worse corruption index by time (46, 2001), and is 2007 worse than Columbia (68) but in the same group as China, India, Mexico, Morocco, Peru and Suriname.
On the last places come Somalia (179) and among the last 10 come Chad, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan and some ex Soviet states.
The least corrupt are the Scandinavian countries, New Zeeland and Singapore
USA is on place 20, Italy on 40, Greece on 56 and Thailand on 84.
So how do you know that a country is corrupt?
When the politicians and other people in power are very rich and ordinary people very poor, you can assume that the country is corrupt.
And you pay high taxes, and get almost nothing in return.
And when people with money and economical crimes, almost never go to jail.
In Brazil you pay taxes on almost everything.
And ordinary people pay about the same amount of taxes, as people in the welfare state Sweden.
During the dictatorship (< 1985), almost nobody dared to criticize the government.
But now the papers and TV criticize the government in a very direct and aggressive way.
And every week a new corruption scandal is covered in the press and TV.
But nobody seems to care.
The voting here is compulsory, and if you don’t vote, you will get lots of problems.
If voting was not compulsory I think very few would vote.
So for me the Brazilian administration is type an old Soviet state.
The laws are imported from pre war Italia.
And a new law has to be approved by a high court and it takes a long time.
So the politicians prefer a preliminary law that starts direct.
But many times you have lots of laws, saying different things about the same subject.
A SP paper told that a small company has to know about 25 new economical laws every day.
And you got to have 1 or 2 girls working full time all year around with the fiscal problems.
Compared to Switzerland where the administration of a small company only needs half a day of work a year.