Tuesday 18 December 2012

USA, pervasively corrupt

The US has 751 people per 100,000 in prison. 

That's the highest incarceration rate in the world, five times the rate in England, eight times the rate in Germany, 12 times the rate in Japan. Yet the US mostly refuses to prosecute financial criminals like those whose malfeasance brought on the 2008 financial crash, and like the HSBC executives who for decades laundered money for Al Qaida terrorists. 

Why? Those financial institutions and their executives are big-time political donors, and they're big-time practitioners of the bribery that largely controls legislation in the US, and so heavily influences other government action here.

On 13 December a disturbed man attacked 20 or more young pupils and at least one adult in an elementary school. 

A day later, another disturbed man attacked 20 or more young pupils and at least one adult in another elementary school.

Every victim of the first attack is still alive. Twenty-six victims of the second attack, twenty of them six or seven years old, died.

What was the difference? The first attacker was in Chengping China and had only a knife. The Sandy Hook attacker brought a semi-automatic assault rifle and two handguns. 

Guns do kill. All over the world, people in democracies understand that. They've sensibly persuaded their governments to protect them from guns. 

Even a few undemocratic governments understand that.

Not in the USA. Why? Because 5,400 US gun manufacturers make huge profits on gun sales, $13.6 billion in 2011, and nothing stops them from shovelling enough of that money to the NRA, and directly to politicians, to buy obstruction of effective gun control.

Is this corruption specific to finance and guns? No. It also pervades the US prison industry, the US pharmaceutical industry, the US health insurance industry, the US energy industry, US defence industries and the US media.

You're expecting Sandy Hook to trigger a big change in gun control in the US? 

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