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October 27th, 2010
22 Countries Worldwide are Less Corrupt Than the United States

Every year, a watchdog group called Transparency International ranks the countries of the world by corruption.  And this year, the U.S. got its worst ranking ever.

The United States has dropped out of the "top 20" in a global league table of least corrupt nations, tarnished by financial scandals and the influence of money in politics, Transparency International said on Tuesday.

Somalia was judged the most corrupt country, followed by Myanmar and Afghanistan at joint second-worst and then by Iraq, in the Berlin-based watchdog TI's annual corruption perceptions index (CPI).

The United States fell to 22nd from 19th last year, with its CPI score dropping to 7.1 from 7.5 in the 178-nation index, which is based on independent surveys on corruption.

This was the lowest score awarded to the United States in the index's 15-year history and also the first time it had fallen out of the top 20.

In the Americas, this put the United States behind Canada in sixth place, Barbados at 17th and Chile in 21st place.

Denmark, New Zealand, and Singapore tied for first place as the least corrupt countries in the world.  The rest of the top 10 is Finland, Sweden, Canada, The Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland, and Norway.

Somalia was named the most corrupt country in the world.  The rest of the bottom 10 are:  Myanmar (Burma), Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Chad, Burundi, and Equatorial Guinea

Nancy Boswell runs Transparency International's U.S. operations.  She says that the low ranking is a mix of the subprime mortgage crisis, BERNIE MADOFF'S Ponzi scheme, and fights over corporations funding politicians and their campaigns.

She says, quote, "We're not talking about corruption in the sense of breaking the law.  We're talking about a sense that the system is corrupted by these practices.  That's an integrity deficit."

The watchdog group said its table was based on "different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions."




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