The lessons taught by "failed nations"
Unfortunately, the public school system doesn't spend much time teaching history today--and even less teaching "real" history as opposed to "revised Leftist PC-approved history," so that doesn't help much.
So I thought it might be instructive to take a glance around the globe and see how governments were working today, and how their societies were faring as a result.
The first thing we notice is that there are a large number of countries –Venezuela, Mexico, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Sudan, most of central Africa--where the main function of politicians seems to be stealing as much as they can. Laws are selectively enforced, and often used to wring money from the middle and lower classes. Bribes are an everyday commonplace. Gangs of government-backed thugs intimidate anyone who has the courage to oppose the Top Thug.
Violence is so pervasive that it scarcely elicits a shrug. In Venezuela there have been so many murders this year that dictator Hugo Chavez has ordered the local media to stop reporting them. In Mexico the drug gangs are beheading folks and hanging the bodies from bridges to ensure everyone gets the message.
Then it finally dawns on you that there is very little difference between these nations and...Chicago. The government corruption, violence and selective law enforcement are very similar.
Consider the city manager and council in Bell, California, who had managed to enact a $700,000 per year salary package for the former--in a town of 30,000 poor residents. How is that any different from anything found in the worst the third world country?
And how can you (we) fix it? Too often it seems that rich, corrupt pols have enough money and influence to find a corrupt judge. Hard to know whether the resulting acquittal or trivial hand-slap is due to a six-figure bribe, blackmail or just soft-on-crime leftist judges.
Seems like all we can (legally) do is try to vote the worst offenders out of office. Of course that's hardly much punishment after they've stolen millions, but at least it's a start.