While natural human evolution has slowed, technological evolution is accelerating - everything that has market appeal receives investments and thrives, while useless items are merely shelved. Unfortunately it has not happened in politics. With regard to public administration, it seems that our politicians do not have the slightest idea of how to evolve, and continue acting like in the days of Ancient Greece and Rome.
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Leia este artigo em Português
Here in São Paulo we are living a curious situation, after the increases of the IPTU (property tax) barred by court decisions, the mayor of São Paulo, Fernando Haddad (PT) still wants to appeal in court. On the other hand we see a study conducted by the Department of Competitiveness and Technology (Decomtec) Fiesp (Federation of Industries of São Paulo), which showed that the economic and social damage caused by corruption in Brazil reaches R$ 69 billion dollars per year.
Does Mayor Haddad not realize that instead of deciding by increased IPTU, he should combat corruption?
Besides having more money in the public treasury, the mayor would be applauded for doing something that no one else did and would certainly be reelected with the highest approval rating ever seen.
We all know that cities like Rio de Janeiro, Recife, São Paulo are full of cars, with little or no investment in public transport because of the suspect relation of automotive companies and governments. We all know that municipalities allows the emergence of 'favelas' because corrupt politicians turned a blind eye to the irregular possession and construction of houses in exchange for votes. All this must stop.
Recently I’ve been in Denmark, (I felt envious as Hell!) before I landed at the Copenhagen Airport, the Organisation of Developed Countries OECD had just declared Denmark as the happiest place on earth. The country also consistently is being ranked either zero or the least corrupt country in the world. As Brazil ranks 72nd out of 178 countries surveyed.
Fighting corruption has long been a high priority for Nordic countries and for the international development cooperation.
A change is needed – politicians believe me, this will be only way to earn our votes from now on.
Let’s understand our enemy
Political corruption is the use of power by government officials for illegitimate private gain. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under color of law or involves trading in influence.
Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. Corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, though is not restricted to these activities. I preach the politics of post-scarcity http://postscarcityblog.blogspot.com.br , but even before thinking in semi-fictional terms, we need to moralize what is already going very badly.
Less corruption - more happiness
If you were living in a place with no corruption, you would realize that everything works better; taxes are channeled to where it really should be. You do not need to pay a supplemental health plan because the state already has the perfect one. You also do not need to pay a supplementary pension plan for the same reason.
Your citizenship increases because besides you are a better-educated man (the money actually went to the school and education), you would realize that the squares, streets and avenues are more beautiful and functional, (the money that should be used to beautify the square was not diverted) and you start feeling proud of belonging to that city. I should remark that you must be a superior ‘Paulistano’, as I am, to be proud of São Paulo in the situation that it stands today.
An interesting report made by a reform activist tells what we can do reverse this trend:
1 - First and basic Directive - Taxpayers' money should never be used to pay for individual benefits, one must be aware that this attitude is immoral and shameful;
2 - The non-payment of salaries for the positions such as municipal councilors, State and Federal Representatives;
3 - Full transparency in the accounts of all political activities through Internet sites, audited by impartial companies;
4 - Hearings, Bids, votes and important meetings should be transmitted in real time by public TV stations;
5 - The taxpayer should have the same rights and obligations of shareholders in a corporation;
6 - The representative of the people should act as such, give all the satisfactions of what makes even when not requested to do so;
Less Criminals - more Peace
Our present methods of dealing with criminals have not made society safer and crime-free, rather they have made the problems worse.
Once we ended the corruption, it is much more easy to re-socialize the criminals (including the corrupt politicians who were arrested). In a criminal justice system free from corruption, the inmate realizes that he has a chance to be truly accepted in fair society.
A leading American prison reform activist tells what we can do reverse this trend:
1 - Learn to recognize the influence of socially sanctioned hatred;
2 - Make drugs a public health problem instead of a criminal justice problem;
3 - Separate violent and nonviolent offenders right from the start;
4 - Regain compassion and respect for those who wrong us;
5 - Allow for transformation, not merely rehabilitation;
6 - Join and support the restorative justice movement;
7 - Take the issue of crime and punishment personally;
We have everything we need to live in a less corrupt and happier society!!