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Poverty and violence are usually portrayed as the biggest challenges confronting Afghanistan. But ask the Afghans themselves, and you get a different answer: corruption
is their biggest worry. As revealed in this new UNODC report, for an overwhelming 59% of the population the daily experience of public dishonesty is a bigger concern than insecurity (54%) and unemployment (52%).
The report says that bribery and drugs generate nearly $5 billion in revenues per year combined, making them the country’s two leading economic forces.
Oh, but there’s good news too: the report says President Karzai has “recognized that corruption is destroying the economy.” So presumably we can expect fast action from him on this soon.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Estimated percentage of U.S. gasoline consumption that occurs during traffic jams:
In India, 1.8 million female children were estimated to have died between 1985 and 2005 as an indirect result of domestic violence against their mothers; the boys of abused mothers were not at increased risk of death.
Vanilla latte and lemon pound cake continued to be the best-selling items at the Starbucks at CIA headquarters, where baristas do not write customers’ names on their cups.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”