Category Archives: Gem

Why are some countries more successful than others?

If a government is corrupt, then the people will be corrupt. If a government is fair, then the people will be fair. Though natural resources are major factors in a country’s potential economic wealth, there is a direct correlation between economic success and government corruption. The countries that people perceive to be the most corrupt lead the people of those countries to also become corrupt. Corruption is chaotic and redistributes a country’s wealth to the few who are independently the strongest, at the expense of the majority.

A quick example to put this theory into perspective: In a corrupt country, if you are accused of a crime but have sufficient evidence to prove your innocence, should you be denied an opportunity to present your story, you will eventually learn that the only way to protect yourself is by not relying on the legal system. For when the systematic government is corrupt, the people will consider their own corruption justified.

Based on this hypothesis, I took two sets of data and compared the relationship.

A world map of the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International which measures “the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians”. High numbers (blue) indicate less perception of corruption, whereas lower numbers (red) indicate higher perception of corruption.

Still working on this post…stand by!


Personal Report on Displacement: Summer, 2016

I believe the world has a much larger problem on our hands than anyone is noticing.

I’ve been working with people who are displaced for under a year so admittedly, I don’t understand the mechanics of what’s going on with any “refugee crisis”, truly, and I don’t pretend to know what it’s like for anyone.

As an outsider, here’s what I have noticed.

This June 20th, 2016, on World Refugee Day, the UNHCR, which has the legal domain and responsibility over the majority of the world’s registered refugees, took the opportunity to update their most primary marketing message from “the most displaced since World War II” to “the most displaced ever.” Today, we have over 65 Million people with nowhere to go as a side-effect of war, outright racism and fear.

This we know. We are already desensitized to this fact.

World War II was a long time ago and the world we think about today makes it difficult to consider this as a reference point.

What does it mean that we have as many displaced people as World War II? And what can we realize from this comparison? Should we not worry about it too much, because it will get worked out, just like it did before?

I feel the UNHCR, other large NGOs and the world in general – everyone – is completely missing a new, epic problem that is unwittingly shrouded by a comparison to World War II.

From 1939 to 1945, World War II involved over 100 Million people, Hitler and The Holocaust, Atom Bombs, the formation of Israel, the founding of the UN and by many estimates as many as 85 Million people killed. That’s a striking number of deaths for a single event over a short, six-year period.

After all of the deaths had been counted, 60 Million people who remained alive had also been displaced.

The statistic that no one is considering is related to the number of displaced people that remained just five years after the war was over.

According the UNHCR, which was originally established to help with the aftermath of WW II, only 1 Million people remained displaced by 1951, just five years after the global war’s end.

Now let’s just stop right there. Of the 60 Million people displaced around the world, five years later, only 1 Million people remained displaced.

Does anyone in their right mind believe in our world today that in five years from now, of the 65 Million displaced people around the world that 64 Million will become settled?

The UNHCR is publicly waiving a surrender flag with every press release they distribute proclaiming a mere fraction of the needed funds to handle the 21.3 Million people they are responsible for today, a mere fraction of the total 65 Million they estimate are displaced. Regarding the other 42.5 Million people? On their own completely, piecemeal.

On top of that, 33,972 people just fled their homes yesterday and 33,972 plus hundreds more are fleeing their homes today.

We’ve never experienced anything like this in history and should not rely on age-old methods to manage these problems.

We simply can not continue to plod along with the system that is in place. This nonsense about taking action by calling on our leaders is weak. Keeping people confined to camps for years without the legal right to work or goto school is a 100% drain on life and society by every measure. I’m tired of hearing mothers say their kids are missing their childhood. I’m tired of hearing movie stars and people with influence and power call on leaders to do something. Call on yourself to do something, this is a serious human crisis that is getting worse by the day.