This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

What a Real Failed Government Looks Like

PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- The United States government may be operating on minimal auxiliary power, but there are regimes around the globe that find even that level of functional governance laughable.

As Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner vowed that there won't be an end to the shutdown anytime soon and a growing contingent of his fellow House Republicans suggested the opposite, word came down last weekend that U.S. special forces carried out raids in Libya and Somalia targeting key figures in al-Qaeda and the al-Qaeda-aligned al-Shabaab movement that killed dozens of people at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, two weeks ago. The government shutdown is embarrassing on all fronts, but even this political skirmish hasn't stopped the U.S. from operating on a level far more stable than its counterparts in Libya and Somalia -- which rank Nos. 54 and 1, respectively, on the Fund For Peace/Foreign Policy Failed State Index.

Don't get us wrong: The government shutdown is terrible enough that even the Fund For Peace felt the need to explain why the U.S. isn't a failed state. But within the group's explanation of just how long this shutdown would have to go on for that to happen is a reminder of just how many actual failed states exist with problems that dwarf those of the United States' hiccup:

"There is not violence. There is no rioting in the street. Borders are still protected, firemen are still putting out fires, and business continues somewhat as usual. That is what resiliency looks like -- and not every country can claim to have it, or the same level of it."

The shutdown is pressuring the U.S., to be sure, but it's nowhere close to breaking it. Without diminishing the strain on government workers and those who rely on its programs, society is holding up in spite of Congress' stalemate. This may not reflect well on the U.S. ranking for next year's Failed State Index, but this year it's still the 20th most-stable country on the planet.

Compare that with Somalia, where government has been in tatters for decades, Western intervention has failed disastrously and only a mission led by the African Union of surrounding countries is containing what was once even more widespread violence, piracy and poverty. The attack on the mall in Kenya a few weeks ago was actually a reaction by al-Shabaab to Kenya's role in a steady string of setbacks for al-Shabaab operations in its Somalia stronghold.

Still, Somalia's central government and constitution are roughly a year old, as is its court system. The country was in a state of famine as recently as last year, and tremendous foreign influence from the African Union, United Nations and European Union are still necessary to preserve what little stability Somalia has achieved. Elite groups still control much of the nation's resources and human rights violations by various factions -- including, in some cases, the peacekeepers themselves -- are rampant.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $123.25 0.00%
FB $83.30 0.00%
GOOG $548.34 0.00%
TSLA $185.00 0.00%
YHOO $45.10 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs