Saturday, July 08, 2006

What Parking Tickets Reveal

The Washington Times published an editorial today comparing the parking ticket record of foreign diplomats with the level of corrpution in their respective home countries. The data was collected by two American economists who were seeking a pattern in the parking ticket records for New York City, home of the United Nations. Foreign diplomats of course, are immune from prosecution for breaking our laws. The article, Corruption is a state of mind, reveals their findings. Here's an excerpt.

" ... Kuwaitis were by far the worst, with an average of 246 tickets per diplomat over five years. Egyptians and Chadians were second- and third-worst with 140 and 124, respectively ... "

Western-cultured countries were, interestingly, the most respectful of our laws.

"... the most rule-observant diplomats tended to hail from democratic countries in other parts of the world. Twenty-two countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Israel, Japan and Sweden, did not incur a single recorded ticket in New York during the period of study ..."

I see this finding as a revelation of the power of self-government. As Americans, we enjoy self-government at the national level. And the reason our system generally works is because most of our citizenry are personally self-governed when it comes to things like handling parking fines, or just generally keeping the rules.

Our culture has traditionally reinforced good behavior, teaching it in our homes, our schools, and our churches. To me, in a land where multiculturalism is now being forced down our throats, here is one indicator that some cultures ARE superior to others.


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