by WorldTribune Staff, February 14, 2019
Two-thirds of the 180 countries surveyed in the Transparency International (TI) 2018 global corruption index were rated as corrupt.
The failure to curb corruption is “contributing to a worldwide crisis of democracy,” TI says. The 2018 research shows “a disturbing link between corruption and the health of democracies, where countries with higher rates of corruption also have weaker democratic institutions and political rights.”
Somalia ranked as the most corrupt.
The United States was rated the 22nd least corrupt nation in the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), but dropped out of the top 20 for the first time since 2011.
“On a scale of zero (a highly corrupt public sector) to 100 (a very clean public sector), two-thirds out of the 180 countries surveyed have scored below 50 in 2018’s CPI,” TI said.
The U.S. scored a 71, a four-point drop from last year’s index.
The U.S.’s drop “appears solely related to opinions of President Donald Trump,” Judicial Watch chief investigative reporter Micah Morrison noted. “It’s here that ‘perceptions’ meet bias.”
Transparency International “does not like President Trump, an opinion shared by much of the international elite,” Morrison wrote on Feb. 13. “TI supports ‘protecting’ the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller – never mind that the president has not taken any steps to suppress the investigation. And it worries about ‘threats to [the U.S.] system of checks and balances,’ despite the fact that the party opposing the president just took control of the House of Representatives, and that court rulings against Trump have proceeded without obstruction since the first days of his presidency.”
Morrison continued: “What’s distressing to the global elite is that the American president is utterly unlike any former president. He’s a disruptor, perhaps even an avatar of creative destruction. But two years into his presidency, the American system is functioning just fine – robust, responsive and contentious. That’s a data point worth considering when assessing the health of American democracy.”
Transparency International says its Corruption Perceptions Index is drawn from comprehensive data sets of more than a dozen international organizations, including the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, Freedom House, and the Economist’s Country Risk Service.
Somalia scored just 10 out of 100 on the index.
The other top ten most corrupt countries, from the bottom up, are Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, North Korea, Sudan, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Afghanistan, and Libya.
Russia scored just 28 out of 100, with TI saying Moscow suffers from cronyism, a compromised judicial system, an embattled media, weak political and civil rights, and ineffective checks and balances.
China scored a 39 out of 100. “Corruption has particular characteristics in China,” TI said. It is widespread and Chinese leaders consider it “a threat to the political system,” mounting tough anti-corruption campaigns.
The Chinese anti-corruption drives instigated by supreme leader Xi Jinping, however, are in service of the Chinese Communist Party, not strengthening democratic institutions.
Read the full Transparency International report here.