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U.S. falls to 6th in world competitiveness (China is #54)
CNN ^ | 9/26/06 | Mikey_1962

Posted on 09/26/2006 10:55:25 AM PDT by Mikey_1962

GENEVA (Reuters) -- The United States fell to sixth place in the World Economic Forum's 2006 global competitiveness rankings, ceding the top place to Switzerland as macroeconomic concerns eroded prospects for the world's largest economy.

In a report released Tuesday, the World Economic Forum said Washington's huge defense and homeland security spending commitments, plans to lower taxes further, and long-term potential costs from health care and pensions were creating worrisome fiscal strains.

Switzerland grabs top spot in World Economic Forum's global rankings. U.S. sinks to 6th.

"With a low savings rate, record-high current account deficits and a worsening of the U.S. net debtor position, there is a non-negligible risk to both the country's overall competitiveness and, given the relative size of the U.S. economy, the future of the global economy," it said.

Switzerland was deemed the most competitive economy in 2006, followed by Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Singapore. After the United States, which had topped the 2005 index, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain rounded out the top 10.

The Geneva-based World Economic Forum said Switzerland's well developed infrastructure, plentiful scientific research, intellectual property protection and sophisticated business culture helped launch the country to the index's leading position.

As in Switzerland, it said high-ranking Nordic countries benefited from strong institutions and excellent education and training, but said they lagged in labor market flexibility.

Most European Union countries saw stable competitiveness readings over the past year, but Italy's competitiveness ranking fell to 42nd - compared to 38th last year - because of ongoing macroeconomic and institutional weakness.

Russia, China slip Russia slipped nine places for a 62nd-place ranking this year, largely due to private sector misgivings about the independence of the country's judiciary.

China's ranking also fell - to 54 from last year's 48.

(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS:
Does this really mean anything? It looks like stability factors very heavily in their determination of rankings.
1 posted on 09/26/2006 10:55:27 AM PDT by Mikey_1962
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To: Mikey_1962

Dreams of the Left:

In a report released Tuesday, the World Economic Forum said Washington's huge defense and homeland security spending commitments, plans to lower taxes further, and long-term potential costs from health care and pensions were creating worrisome fiscal strains.


2 posted on 09/26/2006 10:56:56 AM PDT by rightinthemiddle (Without the Media, the Left and Islamofacists are Nothing.)
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To: Mikey_1962

Apparently, our lack of competitiveness is caused by our low taxes. Darn!


3 posted on 09/26/2006 10:58:08 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: Mikey_1962

Sounds like the problem is not enough socialism.


4 posted on 09/26/2006 10:58:19 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Mikey_1962
plans to lower taxes further

We must keep raising taxes until we are competitive [/sarcasm]

In other news, the beatings will continue until morale improves.

5 posted on 09/26/2006 10:58:21 AM PDT by Dracian
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To: Mikey_1962
Switzerland was deemed the most competitive economy in 2006, followed by Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Singapore. After the United States, which had topped the 2005 index, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain rounded out the top 10.

So we are ranked behind a few peons???

6 posted on 09/26/2006 10:58:22 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Mikey_1962
a report released Tuesday, the World Economic Forum said Washington's huge defense and homeland security spending commitments, plans to lower taxes further, and long-term potential costs from health care and pensions were creating worrisome fiscal strains.

In other words a bunch of Socailists got together and created a propaganda report that demonstrates their total ignorance of Economics or Competivness. Notice how Domestics Social spending or Tax INCREASES are NEVER a cause of supposed "strain" to these clowns. More nonsense propaganda.

7 posted on 09/26/2006 10:58:46 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Say Leftists. How many Nazis did killing Nazis in WW2 create? or Samurai? or Fascists?)
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To: Always Right

The countries ahead of us are all relatively small and more or less homogenous.


8 posted on 09/26/2006 10:59:38 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Mikey_1962
"With a low savings rate,...

Doesn't include 401K's and a bunch of other ways that real people prepare for their future.

9 posted on 09/26/2006 11:03:05 AM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Mikey_1962
Switzerland was deemed the most competitive economy in 2006, followed by Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Singapore.

So exactly what do these countrys produce that make them so competitive?

10 posted on 09/26/2006 11:05:18 AM PDT by Bommer ( "If they won't listen to reason over there, just kill 'em. Nuke 'em all." - Robert Mitchum)
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To: facedown
"Doesn't include 401K's and a bunch of other ways that real people prepare for their future."

Like equities in their homes--sorry, forgot, the housing bubble has burst...

11 posted on 09/26/2006 11:07:15 AM PDT by 100-Fold_Return (Those who would bash Osteen/Warren would support HAMAS)
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To: Mikey_1962
...the World Economic Forum said Washington's huge defense and homeland security spending commitments, plans to lower taxes further, and long-term potential costs from health care and pensions were creating worrisome fiscal strains.

Lower taxes...oh, that's a shame! A large military budget, unlike, say, GERMANY or FRANCE, or CANADA, or any other sponge-country living off of the protection afforded by Uncle Sam!

Socialist creeps!

12 posted on 09/26/2006 11:07:29 AM PDT by Obadiah
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To: rightinthemiddle

Right - and cradle-to-grave socialism and its costs and high taxes aren't a cause for concern in Denmark, Sweden and so on ?


13 posted on 09/26/2006 11:07:49 AM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: Obadiah

And, yes, we have high health care costs and pension liabilities, but this is a virtue of capitalism rather than the socialistic countries that tax the...snot out of everyone for cradle to grave government hand outs.


14 posted on 09/26/2006 11:09:18 AM PDT by Obadiah
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To: cinives

I guess if you can enjoy the benefits of a free market while not spending a dime to insure the free flow of trade and ideas then you can consider yourself more efficient. The EUROs have been free riding on defense since 1945. Too bad none on this list has done squat for the freedom of anyone but themselves.


15 posted on 09/26/2006 11:10:57 AM PDT by tigtog
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To: Mikey_1962

Trash-


16 posted on 09/26/2006 11:13:03 AM PDT by Red6
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To: ClearCase_guy
Apparently, our lack of competitiveness is caused by our low taxes.

I think they mean because we lowered taxes not by cutting spending by an equal amount, but by putting it on the debt.

17 posted on 09/26/2006 11:15:55 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat
What you say might be true. But if they phrased it as "an increasing budget deficit" or something to that effect, they might be more clear.

When they (in fact) criticize "plans to lower taxes further" it makes me thing that they don't like lower taxes.

But I'm funny that way.

18 posted on 09/26/2006 11:21:17 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: tigtog

You are correctomundo about that. Look at Iceland - we're pulling out of Iceland in the next few months and they're whining about who will pay to provide ocean search and rescue operations if the US Military isn't there to do it for them.

Socialists are all freeloaders.


19 posted on 09/26/2006 11:21:33 AM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: Mikey_1962
Let the people of Switzerland or Sweden or Denmark or Finland or Singapore have half of our standards of living and then we can argue about who is more competitive.
20 posted on 09/26/2006 11:21:45 AM PDT by jveritas (Support The Commander in Chief in Times of War)
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To: Mikey_1962
The word "competitiveness" implies that there is a mutually agreed-upon "competition". I am not sure what the sought-after "prize" is in this so-called competition, but as in the NFL, we let the debate get settled on the field, not some pencil-jockey's desk.

My money is, and will always be on the U.S. of A.

21 posted on 09/26/2006 11:34:12 AM PDT by Lekker 1 (("...the world will be...eleven degrees colder by the year 2000" -- K. Watt, Earth Day, 1970)
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To: Mikey_1962

I say we buy Switzerland, then we'll be number one.

I'll chip in $20.


22 posted on 09/26/2006 11:46:20 AM PDT by rightinthemiddle (Without the Media, the Left and Islamofacists are Nothing.)
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To: Lekker 1
we let the debate get settled on the field, not some pencil-jockey's desk.

How do you feel about college football? lol

23 posted on 09/26/2006 12:01:30 PM PDT by Rad_J
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To: Rad_J
How do you feel about college football?

Touche...

24 posted on 09/26/2006 12:22:17 PM PDT by Lekker 1 (("...the world will be...eleven degrees colder by the year 2000" -- K. Watt, Earth Day, 1970)
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To: Bommer

money laundering banks.


25 posted on 09/26/2006 12:22:45 PM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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To: Chi-townChief

You bet...........if we were more socialistic, we would be far more competitive in the world........especially the world of socialists.

Rates right up there on my fantastically accurate bullshitometer.


26 posted on 09/26/2006 12:48:09 PM PDT by newcthem (Brought to you by the INFIDEL PARTY)
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To: ClearCase_guy
What you say might be true. But if they phrased it as "an increasing budget deficit" or something to that effect, they might be more clear.

I just read a bit more at the author's site, it's about debt. Elsewhere in the report they talk about lowering taxes as good for the economy. They praised Israel's cutting spending and cutting taxes as good for growth. They nailed Venezuela for basically all of Chavez' policies -- and said his otherwise noble goals like education for the poor aren't happening.

27 posted on 09/26/2006 1:34:15 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat
"The Geneva-based World Economic Forum said Switzerland's well developed infrastructure, plentiful scientific research, intellectual property protection and sophisticated business culture helped launch the country to the index's leading position."

Geneva-based - says it all

28 posted on 09/26/2006 3:09:43 PM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds. " - Ayn Rand)
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To: Mikey_1962

Their top ten list includes 7 European countries, but only 3 of them use the Euro.


29 posted on 09/26/2006 6:16:22 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Mikey_1962
From World Factbook--U.S.:

US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets.

Couldn't have anything to do with how the ranking turned out, could it?

30 posted on 09/26/2006 7:01:40 PM PDT by skr (We cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent.-- Ronald Reagan)
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To: cinives

But in the US Business have to worry about organizing and financing 401K's, health insurance, continuing education and so forth. In those socialist countries, they can devote all their time and resources to making money.


31 posted on 09/27/2006 12:16:46 AM PDT by Hong Kong Expat
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To: Mikey_1962
I believe Switzerland would be in the top 5, and Singapore is definitely very competitive - the others in the top 5, I seriously question.

Regards, Ivan

32 posted on 09/27/2006 12:18:26 AM PDT by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: Lekker 1

Never heard of the Salary Cap.

There is no more socialist institution in the world than the NFL.


33 posted on 09/27/2006 12:19:11 AM PDT by Hong Kong Expat
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To: Mikey_1962

"Switzerland was deemed the most competitive economy in 2006, followed by Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Singapore. After the United States, which had topped the 2005 index, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain rounded out the top 10."

This can't be correct. Muslims are, according to them, the chosen and best among us all.

And based on things I've gleaned, Ireland has enjoyed fantastic economic progress.


34 posted on 09/27/2006 12:28:25 AM PDT by truth_seeker
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To: dfwgator
The countries ahead of us are all relatively small and more or less homogenous.

You've got it. The USA has a societal strata from the world's bottom to the world's top. You gotcher illegal aliens living 30 to a small house, crack dealers filling the projects, and then you gotcher billionnaires whose feet never touch the ground. And still (yet) some middle class stuffed in between!

We are sorely lacking in the proper way to educate our children, however. Gay months and global warming are wasting our kiddies' time when other countries still have the 3R curriculum.

35 posted on 09/27/2006 12:30:31 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: jveritas

They have better standards of living day-to-day, though the medical care is far worse than here.


36 posted on 09/27/2006 12:31:21 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: bruinbirdman
Geneva-based - says it all

And DO note who is saying it. All the international folk in Geneva are expats and don't pay the taxes there. They outnumber the Swiss living there who do.

37 posted on 09/27/2006 12:33:12 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle
They have better standards of living day-to-day

Oh please! In all these countries their people make less money than us and everything is much more expensive then here, they simply cannot buy and consume as much as we do, they are not anywhere near to our great standards of living. We simply have the best standards of living in the world based on income and purchasing parity.

38 posted on 09/27/2006 5:43:42 AM PDT by jveritas (Support The Commander in Chief in Times of War)
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To: Yaelle

Go to any of these countries and try to buy clothes, eat in restaurants, buy a car, buy a house, fill your car with gas, purchase a computer, or simply order a Pizza and you will know that their people simply do not have even half of our standards of living.


39 posted on 09/27/2006 5:49:28 AM PDT by jveritas (Support The Commander in Chief in Times of War)
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To: jveritas

I only know Switzerland. I lived there a decade. Virtually no one is poor. Everyone gets a decent chunk of money a month. No one has credit cards. People don't buy as MANY clothes or things, but what they have is usually fairly good quality. Everyone has 4-6 weeks vacation a year. People work longer hours but not as hard as Americans. People get paid fully for all sick days up to 2 years, yet rarely miss work due to illness (they tend to come in to work quite ill - I was in Human Resources there). Everyone spends a good part of the time engaged in outdoor sports or activities. It's as if the whole country were solidly middle class. It's not as socialist as most European countries, either.

I prefer the freedom and heterogenity of America, and I love my country very much. I love the American spirit and people. It's the best country in the world, despite all her faults.

Still, you cannot knock the average standard of living in Switzerland compared to here. "Here" is relative; we are a one-earner family in illegal-alien-soaked L.A. County. Our standard of living doesn't approach what it would be if we had the same job in Switzerland.


40 posted on 09/27/2006 10:35:46 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: jveritas
"fill your car with gas, purchase a computer, or simply order a Pizza and you will know that their people simply do not have even half of our standards of living"

Try opening a business. Impossible.

yitbos

41 posted on 09/27/2006 11:15:47 AM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds. " - Ayn Rand)
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To: bruinbirdman

Exactly.


42 posted on 09/27/2006 11:27:08 AM PDT by jveritas (Support The Commander in Chief in Times of War)
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To: Yaelle
"The table below includes data for the year 2005 for all 181 members of the International Monetary Fund, for which information is available. Data are in International dollars. The table excludes Bermuda which is one of the British overseas territories. Bermuda has the highest GDP PPP in the world at $69,900 (2004 est.) according to the CIA Worldfact book." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita

Rank Country GDP $ per capita 1 Luxembourg 69,800. 2 Norway 42,364. 3 United States 41,399. 4 Ireland 40,610. 5 Iceland 35,115. 6 Denmark 34,740. 7 Canada 34,273. 8 Hong Kong 33,479. 9 Austria 33,432. 10 Switzerland 32,571. 11 Qatar 31,397. 12 Belgium 31,244. 13 Finland 31,208. 14 Australia 30,897. 15 Netherlands 30,862. 16 Japan 30,615. 17 Germany 30,579.

The US is third in individual income after Luxemburg and Norway but we still have the best standards of living since purchasing goods in the US is much less expensive than all the countries on that list, only Canada may come close to us when it comes purchasing goods.

PS: The US has more millionaires than the whole population of Norway and Luxembourg combined.

43 posted on 09/27/2006 11:42:00 AM PDT by jveritas (Support The Commander in Chief in Times of War)
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To: jveritas
Also from Wikipedia:

There are many factors being considered before measuring standard of living. Some factors are gross domestic product, the per capita income, population, infrastructural development, stability (political and social), and many other indicators.

and

GDP counts work that produces no net change or that results from repairing harm. For example, rebuilding after a natural disaster or war may produce a considerable amount of economic activity and thus boost GDP, but it would have been far better if the disaster had never occurred in the first place. The economic value of health care is another classic example - it may raise GDP if many people are sick and they are receiving expensive treatment, but it is not a desirable situation. Alternative economic measures, such as the standard of living or discretionary income per capita better measure the human utility of economic activity.

We spend the most on healthcare, also on criminal justice and incarceration, of any of the top ten countries. This spending all goes into the GDP, but it might not increase our standard of living relative to the other countries.

44 posted on 09/27/2006 4:16:07 PM PDT by Dick Holmes
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To: jveritas
" only Canada may come close to us when it comes purchasing goods"

The CIA World Factbook calls it GDP-per capita (PPP) - personal purchasing power.

CIA The World Factbook - Purchasing Information

Select country/select "economy" (upper right)

yitbos

45 posted on 09/27/2006 5:33:11 PM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds. " - Ayn Rand)
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To: Mikey_1962
Does this really mean anything? It looks like stability factors very heavily in their determination of rankings.

I just saw this Forbes article on it.

The U.S,, which would have ranked at the top last year on the new methodology (although it was second on the old one), continues to score well for being business-friendly, having efficient markets, and for its world-class technology development. But the overall score was pulled down to sixth this year, by its budget and trade deficits. Any disorderly adjustment of such macroeconomic imbalances, the WEF warns, risks knocking the U.S. further down the ranks.

So, last year's U.S. performance would have given us first place, but we dropped to sixth on budget and trade deficits? Deficit's going down again, so we should be back on top next year.

46 posted on 09/27/2006 7:47:14 PM PDT by Dick Holmes
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