Transparency International has released their 2010 survey results rating the perceived level of corruption and general level of business and government ethics for each country. No big surprises, but just for kicks I thought I would lay the results out against the global average hourly wage levels.
There are some 154 countries with data in both categories, including all of the big ones. Here ya go:
You can draw your own conclusions. Seems pretty obvious that you can substitute the phrase "corrupt country" with the more commonly heard "low labor cost country" as it seems obvious there is a distinct correlation between the two.
I could find no cases in which people made a decent wage under a corrupt government , the closest being Greece and Italy who pay everyone a lot for doing very little while lagging the rest of the EU slightly in the corruption scale. Seems to me that the people doing all of the manufacturing are doing so for next to nothing because they live under corrupt governments. It also seems pretty unlikely that they will share in the fruits of that work so long as they live under corrupt regimes. The average worker in these countries is not going to benefit simply because western wealth is flowing into their country. They will only share in the western economic dream when the corruption level in their country drops down to western levels.
Seems to me that the basic lean principle of 'Respect for People' is unlikely to become a reality in corrupt countries in which people are kept in poverty in order to do the work that brings vast sums of western money into the coffers of corrupt leadership.
And it makes me more than a bit uneasy to see that vast sums of American, European and Australian wealth are being transferred to some of the most corrupt countries in the world.
And it makes everyone who rationalizes profiting from globalization and 'flat earth economics bedfellows with the some of the worlds most unethical leaders.