Armenian Perspective: THAT COMPLICATED THING CALLED “CORRUPTION”

by Anna Astvatsatryan

I was driving home and talking on the phone with a friend, so the police stopped me. I know, I know, you shouldn’t use mobile devices while driving. So I was completely ready to answer for my “crime” and pay the fine, which in my country you are able to pay on spot.

Anyhow, after parting ways with the police officer, I remembered that usually you need to sign a receipt of payment, which he never asked me to do. All of a sudden, I found myself in the middle of a bribery act, that I didn’t even realize.

Corruption is a very tricky matter. It can halt the development of a whole country and destroy democracy. It can help people avoid useless regulations and paperwork, therefore save a lot of time and money. For example, a study showed that in countries with high number of regulations, corruption actually helps new entrepreneurs to start a business and enter the market. It also has a so-called “greasing” effect for importers, when they can avoid a line and paperwork at the customs by just paying a bribe.

If we dig deeper, corruption is in a way compensating the lack of trust between the government and people. It helps businesses have at least some kind of a guarantee from the government official. If there was more trust in justice and equal opportunities for every business or individual, the power of corruption would decrease significantly.

But how can you build trust with an official that would rather take a bribe?

Well you could try by these:

  1. Build trust with your partners, competitors and other citizens
  2. Know your rights (I could have avoided paying a bribe if I remembered the official fine payment procedure)
  3. Ask for advice. There actually are people called lawyers that know what you can and cannot do, your rights and responsibilities, the Constitution of your country and a lot of other very useful and extremely important information, and you don’t always have to pay for their services.

Corruption can still be harmful or beneficial, depending on the case. Nevertheless, building trust will help decrease a lot of the harmful and unnecessary corruption and create a civil society that does not need any corruption at all.

 

The Cartagena Incident: Affirming U.S. success

by Michael R. Czinkota and Ireene Leoncio *

During the past days emotions have been running high about the U.S. Secret Service alliance with ladies of the night in Colombia. An ‘incident’ has mushroomed into a self-inflicted ‘policy debacle’. Some policy makers, in describing this apparent scurge of mankind, appeared to recommend firing everyone who ever had lust in their hearts. The Senate majority leader’s solution is to hire many more women for the Service. Others suggest that protocols and training for protective details need to be tightened; even the possible use of the ‘honey trap’ strategy is suggested by some. A merchant seaman with great experience writes in an editorial that the lesson learned should be to ‘always pay your bill’! President Obama, who was the object of all the protection, used the annual White House correspondents dinner to crack jokes about the affair. I find all the public anxiety vastly misplaced, and the event’s effect on the U.S. reputation misinterpreted […]

To read the entire article, click here.

Professor Michael R. Czinkota teaches International Business at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He can be reached at michaelczinkota.com. Ireene Leoncio is a graduate student from the Philippines at Georgetown University and serves as President of the Graduate International Student Association.

Answer to International Business Jeopardy from 10/27

What is the distance around the Earth at the Equator?

The circumference of the Earth at the Equator is 24,901.45 miles. The Earth rotates counterclockwise on its axis at approximately 1,000 miles per hour, making one complete revolution each day. If you could fly westward at a speed greater than 1,000 miles per hour, you would outrace the rotation of the Earth (and time) and arrive at your destination before you left.