The Corrupt Keep Indians Poor

Corrupt World Bank employees and the Brit government are protecting corrupt officials in India. But since prosperity depends on low corruption, they’re hurting over 1 billion Indians.

Corruption is cultural, not personal – it’s “the way things are done”. If you put a relatively uncorrupt person into a corrupt institution – say the EU Commission – they become more corrupt, because that’s the only way they survive.

Conversely someone from a corrupt society who moves to a less corrupt one – say an Egyptian to the US – soon learns corruption is neither necessary nor respected, so becomes less corrupt.

Here’s latest from the World Bank:

Having knocked off Paul Wolfowitz as president, the forces of the status quo at the World Bank now have another target in their destructive sights: The corruption fighters at the bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity…

As we reported at the time, the fight over Mr. Wolfowitz had little to do with his girlfriend and everything to do with his anti-corruption efforts. That truth is now coming into sharper relief, as a showdown looms over a series of reports about, and by, the bank’s anti-corruption unit.

Senior bank officials are especially eager to discredit, and if possible deep-six, a forthcoming internal report on corruption in a major bank-supported health care project in India.

This started in 2005 when Wolfowitz, then World Bank president, stopped its loans to India after this report on a previous loan (my ellipsis):

The report discloses that “Multiple witnesses admitted to bribing government officials, including ministers, in an effort to secure the award of Bank-funded contracts.”

…The report cites…evidence of corruption risk at other health care projects in India “representing over US$2 billion in Bank funding.”

…this contributed to (Wolfowitz’s) demise as president, because the…report touched several bank taboos.

And it threatened to embarrass Britain’s Labour government, which was providing money for the same India project.

Currently India has a corruption score of just 3.3 – down there with Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Annan’s Ghana.

But (absent oil), corruption keeps nations poor. Take a look at the GDP per capita rankings here – if you take out the oil producers, only two of the richest 50 nations have a corruption rating below 5 (Greece 4.4, Italy 4.9), and most are way above that.

Thus do the corrupt World Bank and Brit government keep the 1.13 billion people of the great nation of India poor.


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