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Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Bill Steinman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

Are we full of beans with this CPI stuff?

First we looked at the corruption perceptions index ranking of the top 25 oil producing countries.

Then we looked at gold producers.

Now we’re looking at the top ten coffee producers, with their CPI rank in parentheses:

1) Brazil (69)

2) Vietnam (123)

3) Colombia (94)

4) Indonesia (118)

5) India (94)

6) Ethiopia (113)

7) Honduras (133)

8) Peru (83)

9) Guatemala (113)

10) Mexico (105)

*     *     *

Their average rank on the CPI is 105, much worse than the gold producers at 88, and the oil producers at 90.

Does that mean coffee beans cause corruption?

Or that there’s a link between caffeine and graft?

That would be silly. So we admit that our experiment proves nothing.

But that must mean corruption isn’t inevitable. That countries can decide not to be corrupt. And once they make the decision and muster the political will, they can keep corruption away, no matter if they discover oil (see Canada, Norway, the U.K.) or even gold (see Australia, Canada again, and New Zealand).

Looked at another way, if natural resources were a cause of corruption, those rich countries wouldn’t rank near the top of the corruption perceptions index.

And if graft was a regional or race thing, squeaky clean Hong Kong and Singapore wouldn’t be examples of good government to the rest of the world.

Conclusion: Corruption is never inevitable.

Like decaf or regular, it’s a choice.

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