“Better off”: America slips ranks in global economic competitiveness

posted at 3:21 pm on September 5, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

In regards to Team Obama’s recent suggestions that Americans are indeed better off today than they were four years ago, ‘by every measure’… you’ll forgive me for not being rapturously convinced of their validity. As we’ve already covered, I’m not sure what metrics they’re thinking of, because by every available measure I can come up with, we’re definitively worse off than we were four years ago: Median incomes, long-term unemployment, poverty rates, and etcetera. But in addendum to Ed’s post from earlier, here’s yet another indicator of how far our fortunes have fallen since electing President Obama into office. …This one, my friends, is a dagger straight to my heart not quite like any other. Via the WSJ:

Northern European countries topped the overall ranking of a global competitiveness report released Wednesday by the World Economic Forum, as the United States slipped for the fourth year in a row.

“In addition to the burgeoning macroeconomic vulnerabilities, some aspects of the country’s [United States] institutional environment continue to raise concern among business leaders, particularly the low public trust in politicians and a perceived lack of government efficiency,” said the WEF, a think tank that also hosts the annual meeting of global business and political leaders in the Alpine town of Davos, Switzerland.

This year’s survey showed the U.S. fell to seventh position from fifth in the global ranking but the country remains an innovation powerhouse and its markets work efficiently, the WEF said.

Ouch. So let’s just get this straight — there’s nothing wrong with Americans’ know-how, ingenuity, entrepreneurial drive, or desire to work hard and make big things happen in a free-market setting, but it’s our gigantically inefficient federal bureaucracy and our monstrous debt problem that’s gumming up the works? America is supposed to be the freest, most hard-charging, go-gettin’, exceptional country on earth, and I love that other countries are following in our stead and finding ways to unleash the power of free enterprise, but it’s only due to our own self-imposed folly that we’re no longer leading the world in economic badassery. What excuse to we have for allowing that to happen? Because we’re so enamored of expensive entitlement programs, regulatory oversight, adverse-incentivizing taxes, and spending money we don’t have, that we just can’t get our act together? It’s a damn shame, and it could have been avoided. Everything about President Obama’s agenda (higher taxes on higher earners, Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, EPA regulatory expansion, etcetera) has only worsened the “institutional environment” that’s dragging us down. Time for something new, don’t you think?


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