7 reasons why it's difficult to take Transparency International seriously

Yet another Soros NGO attempts to throw Hungary under the bus, with their questionable index referring to the country as Europe’s most corrupt.

For more than a decade, since the Orbán Government took power, our way of thinking, and the policies that stem from it have faced a steady barrage from the globalist left, and their allies.

The latest little dish from one of these, is the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which purports to measure the perception – how do you measure perception? I’ll come back to that – of corruption in countries around the world, published annually by Transparency International.

It’s a clever product that garners headlines from a compliant, liberal, mainstream media. This year’s verdict was no different, with the press and Twitter mobs gleefully pointing to Hungary’s poor score.

I understand that it makes for clickable copy – and you can be sure that TI understands that better than any of us – but there are a few things we all should know about the Corruption Perception Index.

Here’s my list of seven:

1. The evaluation's independence is highly questionable.

In their “Corruption Perceptions Index 2022: Full Source Description,” TI says that 13 data sources were used to construct the Corruption Perceptions Index. Among the 13, we find some interesting choices, including:

Bertelsmann Stiftung (which relies on a list of Hungary “country experts” affiliated almost entirely with Political Capital, a liberal-left group in Hungary; I wrote about it here); Freedom House (funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundation and also heavily reliant on biased sources and authors in Hungary); the World Economic Forum; the World Justice Project (funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundation); and Varieties of Democracy (funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundation). If you see a problem with that selection of sources, you’re not alone.

What’s more, 59.5 percent of Transparency's funding in 2021 came from government agencies, whose countries typically top the rankings.

Australian government agencies rank 13th out of 180 countries in 2022, accompanied by British (18th), Danish (1st), French (21st), Dutch (8th), Canadian (14th), German (9th), Irish (10th), Taiwanese (25th), Swedish (5th), Swiss (7th), and US (24th).

2. The methodology is based on predominantly subjective expert opinion.

In many cases, neither the composition of the expert group evaluating the data nor the principle of the composition of the expert group asked to evaluate it is known. Thus, there is no guarantee of impartiality or expertise.

By this standard this does not measure corruption, it just quantifies the opinion of a narrow group. See above, for example, regarding the “country experts” used by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, one of the sources of the CPI.

3. It excludes certain aspects of corruption.

In the TI report certain factors are totally exempt like citizens' perceptions or experiences of corruption, tax evasion, illicit financial flows, enablers of corruption, money laundering, private sector corruption, or even the informal/grey economy.

The distorting effect of this is demonstrated by the fact that money laundering and tax evasion, which are not covered by the CPI, are covered by the Financial Secrecy Index, which is negatively ranked by countries that rank high in the CPI. For example, the United States ranks first in financial opacity, followed by Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Taiwan.

4. Unclear methodology.

Some data sources are not publicly available: The range of publicly available data for several data sources is limited.

5. Comparability is questionable.

The CPI evaluates different countries utilizing up to 13 data sources, but each country employs a distinct number of data sources.

As a result, each country's score is calculated using a different set of indicators that do not measure the same phenomenon.

This makes scientific comparison impossible, as countries assessed using multiple data sources must meet more criteria than others.

6. Product intended to generate media pressure.

Although the CPI does not measure the level of corruption, but rather the perception of corruption, the press frequently uses these reports to suggest changes in the level of corruption and its relative size across countries. Transparency International does not speak out against this, instead passively accepting the press coverage and implications of its product, confirming that the CPI is a media product rather than a scientific one.

7. Not consistent with indirect indicators of corruption.

Even Transparency International acknowledges that there are indirect indicators of corruption. Growing corruption is linked to slower economic growth and lower tax collection efficiency.

Since 2012, Hungary's CPI score has dropped from 55 to 43 by 2022, and its Transparency ranking has dropped from 46th to 73rd.

During the same period, Hungary's GDP per capita increased from €10,120 to €13,360, putting it ahead of Portugal, and the ratio of unpaid VAT to collected VAT fell from 22% to 6% by 2020. It's also worth noting that the “most corrupt” EU Member State in the 2022 CPI continues to grow economically despite the sanctions.

The reality is, that corruption exists. It exists everywhere. But “crying wolf” and declaring a country the most corrupt, based on conflicting data, biased research methodology, all fueled by shady founding, only proves that these institutions that claim to be the source of truth indeed lie.

This must stop as when facts are shrouded, truth is distorted.

 And Soros alongside his globalist, liberal friends, only orders another coffee.