You may not know this, dear reader, but we journalists get bombarded all the time with all kind of indexes and rankings and such from NGO's where armies of people do nothing but make lists. On these lists, they order countries on various subjects, and then they release those lists, with fancy names and reports with graphs showing data and tons of useless analysis. We get those on corruption, press freedom, quality of living, human development - to name just a few examples.
The latest in this avalanche comes from the World Economic Forum (plutocrats who meet in Davos every year) and is called The Global Information Technology Report 2012 - Living in a Hyperconnected World. What is it about? It seems they have discovered that we live in a connected world, and this poses, in NGO speak, challenges which need to be mapped and so on:
Over the past decade, the world has become increas- ingly hyperconnected. We live in an environment where the Internet and its associated services are accessible and immediate, where people and businesses can com- municate with each other instantly, and where machines are equally interconnected with each other. This hyper- connectivity is deeply redefining relationships between individuals, consumers and enterprises, and citizens and governments; it is introducing new opportunities but also new challenges and risks in terms of individual rights and privacy, security, cybercrime, the flow of personal data, and access to information. As a result, our economies and societies will undergo fundamental transformations. Mastering and leveraging these transformations to maximize the positive impacts and increase resilience against the risks that ICT can bring to the economy, society, environment, and healthcare are crucial for boosting economic competitiveness and well-being. The present edition of The Global Information Technology Report (GITR) analyzes in detail the main drivers and impacts of this ICT-enabled hyperconnected world and contributes to the work of the World Economic Forum’s recently launched Hyperconnected World Initiative, which establishes a holistic means of understanding the systemic nature of change in a hyperconnected world.
It goes on like this forever. Download the whole thing here if you really want to torture yourself. Is there actually anything of interest in this report? Yes. Despite all the hype and fluff, we a sort of like those indexes because they always prove us right. We say Panama is a corrupt country and zinnnnng - Transparency International releases an index showing that Panama is a corrupt country. We say that Northern European social democracy provides the most happiness and quality of living and kaboom! - rankings show we weren't bullshitting. And so on.
This time, it's the legal system. Avid readers of this humble website know that we have little good to say about Panama's judiciary, the public ministry or the lawyers cartel. They're corrupt, have no clue what they're doing, they don't know their own laws and you're lucky if they can spell your name right. And guess what? The data of the World Economic Forum supports our opinion!
In judicial independence, Panama ranks 16th out of 19 Latin American countries - only Nicaragua, Paraguay and Venezuela are worse. In the world, Panama occupies the 133th place out of 142 countries. Even in Syria, Chad and Kazakhstan the judiciary is more independent than in Panama. We live in a judicial shithole, dear readers, a legal hell where nothing ever works and money is thicker than blood.
This is of course all good news for investment. Big multinational companies love countries where there is no rule of law and everything can be done through paying bribes. Normal people, on the other hand, are just screwed. But that we knew already without this report. (Hat tip to Erick Simpson Aguilera)