Monday, June 16, 2014

Kentucky the Ninth Most-Corrupt State

OK, I'll buy Louisiana, Tennesse and Illinois higher than us on that list, but South Dakota? I demand a recount.

Crooks and Liars:

A new study by researchers at Indiana University and City University of Hong Kong identifies the most corrupt and least corrupt states in the United States. It also calculates that government corruption costs American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars per year.

The corrupt states are based on the number of convictions of public officials for violations of federal corruption laws between 1976 and 2008.

The most-corrupt states:

1. Mississippi
2. Louisiana
3. Tennessee
4. Illinois
5. Pennsylvania
6. Alabama
7. Alaska
8. South Dakota
9. Kentucky
10. Florida

In contrast, the least-corrupt states were determined to be Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Vermont, Utah, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Kansas.

The study notes the costs:
In addition to spending more than expected, corrupt states spent more on government activities and services that are susceptible to manipulation for private gain and less on other activities. For example: 
More corrupt states spent more money on construction, capital and highway projects. That type of spending often involves large expenditures, small numbers of contractors and clients and a lack of transparency, making it vulnerable to bribes, kickbacks and extortion. 
More corrupt states spent more on high wages, which benefit government employees. And they were more likely to engage in deficit financing, which tends to conceal the true cost of government spending from the public.
More corrupt states spent more on law enforcement and on prisons, reflecting both the legal costs of corruption and the fact that prison construction and operation are potentially lucrative.
More corrupt states spent less on education at all levels, public welfare, health and hospitals, areas that offer fewer opportunities for public corruption.
Rhetorical questions (sort of): What do most of the corrupt states have in common?
Republican-run government, except for Kentucky.  In Kentucky, corruption is bi-partisan, and fucking over public employees the favorite game.

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