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Archive for September 8th, 2009

There are several international rankings that measure competitiveness and economic freedom. The United States generally does well in these rankings, though often that is a reflection of bad policy in other nations rather than a ringing endorsement of America. The best ranking is probably Economic Freedom of the World, published by the Fraser Institute. The best known ranking, by contrast, might be the Global Competitiveness Report, put out by the World Economic Forum. While I am not completely happy with the methodology in this report (it is probably too oriented toward the interests of big business rather than free markets), it is generally a good measure. So it is interesting to see that the United States has dropped from the top spot and now ranks second behind Switzerland. I’ll be very curious to see what happens to the U.S. position when the new Economic Freedom of the World is released. America dropped from 2nd in 2000 to 8th in 2006 under the big-government policies of the Bush Administration (rankings are always two years behind because of lags in data availability). Presumably, the U.S. fell even further during the last two years of the Bush Administration – and will continue falling under Obama because he is continuing Bush’s policies of big-government interventionism.

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