First we looked at the corruption perceptions index ranking of the top 25 oil producing countries.
Then we looked at gold producers.
1) Brazil (69)
2) Vietnam (123)
3) Colombia (94)
4) Indonesia (118)
5) India (94)
6) Ethiopia (113)
7) Honduras (133)
8) Peru (83)
9) Guatemala (113)
10) Mexico (105)
* * *
Their average rank on the CPI is 105, much worse than the gold producers at 88, and the oil producers at 90.
Does that mean coffee beans cause corruption?
Or that there's a link between caffeine and graft?
That would be silly. So we admit that our experiment proves nothing.
But that must mean corruption isn't inevitable. That countries can decide not to be corrupt. And once they make the decision and muster the political will, they can keep corruption away, no matter if they discover oil (see Canada, Norway, the U.K.) or even gold (see Australia, Canada again, and New Zealand).
Looked at another way, if natural resources were a cause of corruption, those rich countries wouldn't rank near the top of the corruption perceptions index.
And if graft was a regional or race thing, squeaky clean Hong Kong and Singapore wouldn't be examples of good government to the rest of the world.
Conclusion: Corruption is never inevitable.
Like decaf or regular, it's a choice.