By Todd Mickelsen, President and CEO –
Corruption is a multi-headed demon. With various methods of rearing its ugly head, societies of all kinds are affected. It doesn’t matter if you live in a developed country, a developing country, a big city, or a small rural town – crime, deception, bribery, dishonesty, and the like can become a very real part of your life.
Developing Countries and Corruption
Developing countries are often viewed as more corrupt than developed nations. This is because if a country is poor, it’s more likely that businesses will pay off the government with bribes to avoid taxes or to make other financial profits.
In fact, surveys by Transparency International indicate that over half of the residents in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana and Senegal — as well as a third of Pakistan — have been asked to give a bribe at some point in their lives. The Corruption Perception Index rates some developing countries very high in corruption, with Ivory Coast at number 136 (Kenny 2014).
Is the U.S. Corrupt?
Bribery is not the most common form of corruption in the U.S. When former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin was recently imprisoned during his term of office, it wasn’t for bribery but for money laundering, falsifying tax returns, and other similar actions.
The same is common for other U.S. public officials or business people who are arrested or fired — whether it’s embezzlement, abuse of power, harassment, money laundering, or favoritism, it’s all corruption.
The truth is, the U.S. has its share of corruption, and while it is not the most virtuous nation on the corrupt scale, neither is it the least.
Comparing Developing to Developed Countries
There are plenty of factors to consider in identifying corruption. Standard of living is a huge indicator, with those in high places of power and income being those more likely to engage in crime. Additional factors include income dispersion and inequality.
Corruption appears to be higher in countries with high-income inequality like the U.S., where the average voter has little impact in comparison to that of high-income voters.
Fighting corruption is about fighting all faces from bribery to extortion to conflict of interests. Through tools such as EyeDetect™, organizations can pinpoint those with deceptive histories or tendencies — rather than hoping to discover them.
EyeDetect is ethical and non-intrusive; subjects need only answer true/false questions while a device measures eye behavior to determine truthfulness. This new tool has been shown to be 85% accurate in field studies.
If organizations were to employ deception detection tools such as EyeDetect in countries of diverse developmental states, they would potentially reduce corruption and hopefully increase the standard of living.