In Good Government, We're No. 24!

Decrying the current wave of anti-government rhetoric, Cornell University economist Robert H. Frank on Sunday took to the pages of The New York Times on Sunday to write that "incessant government bashing isn't making it any easier to recruit the kind of people who make good government."

He cites results released this month in an annual global survey on perceptions of government corruption compiled by the Berlin-based nonprofit Transparency International. The group assembles data from polls and consulting groups on kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds and the effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts.

This year, the "cleanest" governments are those of New Zealand, Denmark and Finland, the survey found, while the least clean are North Korea and Somalia. Out of 183 countries, the United States places at 24th.

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