Ask any conservative what the top ten most corrupt states in the country are and they may be stymied at coming up with the complete list, but they most assuredly will start off by naming Illinois, New York and New Jersey. The only one of the three that they would be correct about is Illinois.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Illinois would make the list. They have Chicago which has long been known to be one of the most corrupt cities in the country, but the popularly accepted belief on the right that it’s blue states where corruption runs rampant is simply wrong.
The two blue states that made the list in a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Hong Kong and Indiana University are Illinois and Pennsylvania, which come in at numbers 4 and 5. The other eight are all deep red states with Mississippi, once known by Mississippians as “the most lied about state in the union” at number one.
Here is the entire list:
- South Dakota
The researchers compiled their list by studying 25,000 convictions of public officials under federal corruption statutes between 1976 and 2008. They also analyzed state spending patterns to devise an index that compared corruption levels.
The study found that in the top ten most corrupt states, corruption has cost citizens an average of $1,308 each per year, amounting to 5.2 percent of the states’ average spending per year.
Another finding was that with the exception of South Dakota, overall spending in these states is higher than where corruption of public officials is lower, suggesting that if the corruption were dealt with, it would result in savings in government expenditures. This would be especially beneficial to states such as Mississippi and Louisiana which are also much less economically developed.
The researchers observed spending patterns in the more corrupt states which differed from less corrupt states, noting that they tend to spend more heavily on construction, salaries, borrowing, correction, and police.
Construction is a particularly susceptible target for corruption since the inner workings of large infrastructure projects are difficult for the public to understand.
While no state was found to be completely free of corruption, the residents of states such as Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Vermont, Utah, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Kansas are being fleeced much less by their public servants.
h/t: Huffington Post