I don't understand how when it comes to dealing with corruption, the smartest, kindest, most caring people shrug their shoulders and give up.
For the biggest challenges facing our world today, we seem to have a supply of innovative, intelligent minds ready to combat them. AIDS? Scientists! Breastcancer? Doctors! Rainforest depletion? Activists and shade grown fair trade coffee farmers!
Yet when it comes to helping our sisters and brothers in war-torn or natural disaster struck countries, such as Pakistan, African countries, or Afghanistan, we shrug our shoulders and say, "well we have given them plenty of money, and most of it just goes into the coffers of the warlords, the politicians."
I am glad that more people are becoming educated to the fact that the real problem is not lack of money, food, or even caring. The real problems are an ingrained fear of lack in those societies, which causes a grasping attitude towards materials, a culture of bribery, and above all, greed. (I make an important distiction here that this is not caused by the people, but circumstances, often made worse by US politics...)
So yes, corruption is a problem, but why do we consider it an insurmountable problem? We're not shy about finding alternative energy sources, protesting in the streets against the Iraq war, (SF 2004, woohoo! holla!), building houses for poorer people in Mexico City and New Orleans. We even have walkers for our disabled dogs. When it comes to a little skimming of the fat, however, we don't touch it with a ten foot pole.
I implore my readers to not become discouraged! There are corruption indexes, to help you make good investment choices. There are transparent, non-governmental organizations. The minutes and budgets of our own Congress are allowed to be seen by the public. There are alternative ways to help like micro-financing or the Heifer project international. These give small amounts of resources to families, and the economic benefits ripple throughout the community. Give books, not money! For each year of education a girl receives, she postpones child-bearing; which combats poverty and gives her family a better chance of survival. I encourage you to check out these ideas, and post me more of your ideas!
Come on people; our country produces lights that we clap on, robots that mop our floors, and computers to which we can dictate our letters. We can deal.