I've lived in a 3rd world country, and I agree with the article. The main differences are:
- In the 3rd World, corruption goes all the way down to the clerk at the "DMV", whom you will have to bribe so you don't have to wait in line for 3 hours. In the USA the corruption seems to start with the city gov't officials, and gets worse the higher up in the food chain you go (DC is at the top)
---- e.g. I spoke with a local taxi driver and individual operators are shut out because the big taxi companies get the licenses and the "right" to pick up passengers at the airport
- In the USA the corruption is mainly *legalized
* - that is, written into law. The extortion is legal and has the veneer of legitimacy. Witness the too-low speed limits and traffic enforcement, the Corporatism, the sweetheart "green tech" deals, the wars that enrich the military industrial complex.
- In the 3rd World, the populace *know* that the gov't is corrupt
- In the 3rd World, the populace *know* that the media is corrupt