The Washington Post's Max Fisher flags what I can only hope is the most disturbing anecdote from Transparency International's biennial "Global Corruption Barometer," a report that in general hasn't exactly made anyone feel good about the structures of business and society around the world*:
Corruption is so systemic in Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s poorest countries, that a local hospital charges mothers-to-be $5 every time they scream while giving birth. ... The $5 hospital screaming fee, purportedly a charge for “raising false alarm” but clearly aimed at separating mothers from their money, is no joke. Gross domestic product per capita is only $500 in Zimbabwe; average annual income per person is about $150. Zimbabwean hospitals also charge a $50 delivery fee. This means that, in a country where underemployment is 95 percent and poverty is rife, a mother who screams a few times during delivery might owe half her annual income after giving birth.
You can read the full TI report here. The organization found that roughly a quarter of the global population paid some type of bribe in the past year. The disturbing hospital anecdote aside, the report—which surveyed more than 100,000 people in 100-odd countries—suggests that the police and the court system are the most prone to bribery. Overall, nearly one-third said their interactions with police included paying a bribe.
The country where corruption appears to be the most rampant is Sierra Leone, where 84 percent reported paying a bribe. The least? A four-way tie between Australia, Denmark, Finland and Japan at 1 percent. Seven percent of U.S. respondents said they'd paid a bribe. BBC News has a handy interactive here.
*Correction, Friday, July 12: An earlier version of this post mistakenly described the Global Corruption Barometer as an annual report. It is biennial.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.