America–We’re Number … Six?!

By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
October 3, 2006

America has been knocked off its perch as the world’s most competitive nation, according to the "Global Competitiveness Report" released last week by the World Economic Forum (WEF), an organization that provides a platform for world leaders in politics, business, and academia to discuss big issues of the day. In fact, the United States finished sixth this year, behind Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Singapore. What are we to make of this?
The short answer is we should be concerned, but not panic. The WEF report correctly points out that America’s budget and trade deficits are hurting our competitiveness. But at the same time it misses the mark by suggesting that the Nordic model of high taxes and generous government spending promotes competitiveness. We know it doesn’t.
The WEF report is the latest in a string of warnings about how America is losing its competitive edge, and the Chamber has been sounding the alarm on this topic for several years. We’ve pointed out that our education system fails many of our children, our taxes are too high, our burdensome regulatory system saps productivity, our infrastructure is underfunded, and our legal system is a mess.

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