Crooked politicians mean tumbling buildings—in countries from Egypt to China, not just U.S.

image In The Solomon Scandals, my Washington newspaper novel, hundreds of IRS and CIA bureaucrats die in the collapse of a rickety high-rise. Bribery involved? Of course.

So how much Real Life is there in this scenario? Just type building collapse corruption into Google and see such headlines as:

Corrupt work cited in Egypt building collapse – Mideast/N. Africa
Dec 29, 2007 … Shoddy materials, illegal construction and a culture of corruption were blamed Saturday for the deaths of more than three dozen people.

EasttSouthWestNorth: Why Did the School Building Collapse
Jun 2, 2008 … Many people like to demand to “kill the corrupt officials” ….. In a brittle collapse, a building can crumble to dust in a few seconds.

EurasiaNet Civil Society – Azerbaijan: Building Collapse Exposes …
Sep 6, 2007 … debate in Azerbaijan about government corruption and competence.

About the photo: It is a picture of the Skyline Plaza collapse in Northern Virginia. I’ll not make accusations of bribery in connection with Skyline. But, yes, the U.S. has had its share of corruption-related collapses. Meanwhile keep in mind the relationship between corruption and building collapses in China. Honest politicians are best for earthquake-prone areas.

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David Rothman

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