After visiting hundreds of cities around the world, having five open passports along with added pages to accommodate scores of visa’s and travelling to 92 countries and 300+ cities on six continents, it’s easy to fall in love with people. Some trips around the world went clockwise. Others went counter-clockwise and many went up and down the earth. Each one was special. Behind the Iron Curtain; deep inside Communist China, walking along the Champs Elysess, along the docks in Provence, on the wall in China; riding the Bullet train, flying over Kilimanjaro, It’s a wonderful world.

Seeing so much of the world and working with the different nationalities, races and cultures provides a basis to judge the best as well as the worst behaviors of people. That’s why it’s so frustrating to witness the corruption here at home. Not just in Washington where a rogue President is working as if America is a third world country but in Harrisburg where corruption has been found in the capital building itself and in Doylestown in the courts where bad decisions are purposely made for petty reasons.

Bribes are important in most cultures where there are special names for them like “Mordita”, the Bite, or “Dash” or “Baksheesh” or “Tea Money”. (Here). Some countries need a visa and a bribe to get through customs. Bribery in America takes the form of campaign contributions but there are plenty more ways to bribe an official.
The 2012 election brought in over six billion dollars of donations, for only a few hundred of the races. There are many thousands of races.

It’s probably safe to say that at least twelve billion dollars are “donated” as campaign contributions each year. Everything is donated on a quid pro quo basis. People donate so they can get more back.

But this is only part of the whole. Many more billions are given to politicians each year in back-door payoffs. These are America’s answer to bribes like these:
•Safe government jobs for friends and family.
•Sweetheart real estate deals: properties sold to the politician for far less than they are worth, with a loan just waiting for their signature.
•A swimming pool for their yard, after giving a construction project to the right person.
•Free dinners and hookers.
•Envelopes of cash to local officials in return for building permits, liquor licenses, etc.
•Ownership shares of local businesses.

Not only could I add to this list, but all of these are well-known examples. And they include American politicians, elected officials and judges in the highest offices. It proves that some things are the same around the world.

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