Study Document

Political Corruption According to the Term Paper

Pages:4 (1331 words)



Topic:Political Corruption

Document Type:Term Paper


" Over two-thirds of Haitians depend on agriculture (small subsistence farms), which is vulnerable to violent storms and erosion (deforestation). Haiti struggles economically due to "higher inflation than similar low-income countries, a lack of investment, and a severe trade deficit," the CIA reports. Per capital annual income in Haiti is estimated at $1,800. Even the labor force (3.6 million workers) is shaky, as "more than two-thirds" of Haiti's workers have no "formal jobs."

Haitian's main exports include coffee, oils, cocoa, mangoes and some manufactured goods - over 80% of which goes to the U.S. Another export identified with Haiti is cocaine, which enters the country from Columbia and is transported to Europe and the U.S.; "traffickers favor Haiti for illicit financial transactions," the CIA reports. There are about 8,000 United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti to "maintain civil order" and put down "civil unrest."

Journalist Amy Bracken writes that "due to the dismal economy, rising prices and ongoing environmental degradation, rural parents are pushed into "blindly casting their children off into indentured servitude" (Bracken, 2006). Some children between five and 17 years of age are actually sold into slavery, to work "unpaid" in other families' homes for food and shelter. They are called "restaveks" (child slaves), and the estimates of how many range upwards of 8.2% of all children in that age group. With poverty this severe, political corruption can and does occur in Haiti.

NORWAY: Norway is ranked #8 on the CPI, behind Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland. The CIA World Factbook records that in the 1960s, Norway discovered oil and gas in its offshore waters, which was a welcome addition to its list of plentiful natural resources (iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, titanium, pyrites, nickel, fish, timber and hydropower). Whereas in Haiti natural disasters come in the form of powerful hurricanes, in Norway there are far less destructive "rockslides" and "avalanches," the CIA explains. Also, as far as trade, Norway has the advantage of being "adjacent to sea lanes and air routes" in the North Atlantic region.

The infant mortality rate in Norway is only 3.67 deaths per 1,000 births; the life expectancy is 79.54 years (compared with 53 years in Haiti), and 100% of Norwegians can read and write. That educational fact alone sheds light on how well the population is prepared to keep track of what their government is doing with their tax money and in other matters. Only 0.1% of Norwegians have AIDS, whereas 5.6% of Haitians have AIDS.

Economically, Norway is "a prosperous bastion of welfare capitalism," the CIA narrative continues. Only Saudi Arabia and Russia export more petroleum than Norway, with oil and gas counting over one-third of Norway's exports. Norwegians understand that the oil reserves it has will eventually be depleted, hence, the political leaders - and citizens - decided long ago to put aside a Petroleum Fund, which is now valued at more than $250 billion. Although two-thirds of Norway's geography is mountainous, and there are over 50,000 rocky and steep islands along it's jagged coastline, Norwegian farmers grow health crops of barley, wheat, and potatoes, and raise cattle (which produces pork, beef, veal, and milk) and fish. Making the most out of the land is a sign of a well-organized society.

Unemployment in Norway is about 3.5% and the annual per capital income is $47,800 (compared with Haiti's puny $1,800). In Haiti, there are a total of 4 airports with paved runways; in Norway, there are 67 airports with paved runways. Given the education levels in Norway, and the natural resources and productivity / wealth of its people, it should not come as a surprise that this nation, unlike Haiti, has very little political corruption.

Works Cited

Braken, Amy. "Haiti's Children Pay the Price of Poverty." NACLA Report on the Americas

CIA Factbook. "Haiti." Retrieved 10 March 2007 from

CIA Factbook. "Norway." Retrieved 10 March 2007 from

Eigen, Peter. "Corruption still rampant in…

Sample Source(s) Used

Works Cited

Braken, Amy. "Haiti's Children Pay the Price of Poverty." NACLA Report on the Americas

CIA Factbook. "Haiti." Retrieved 10 March 2007 from

CIA Factbook. "Norway." Retrieved 10 March 2007 from

Eigen, Peter. "Corruption still rampant in 70 countries, says Corruption Perception Index

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