Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Measure of American Decline

I don't know if this is hope or change, but the United States fell from 2nd to 9th in the Forbes index of "Best Countries for Business." Denmark is first, which may be a surprise, but the Scandinavian country is very free market other than fiscal policy. Hong Kong, meanwhile, enjoyed the biggest increase.

The U.S. economy is teetering on the edge of a double-dip recession. High unemployment and a weak housing market are dragging down economic growth. But there's another major issue that isn't getting much attention these days: The business climate for entrepreneurs and investors in the U.S. is starting to lag behind other countries'. The U.S. dropped from No. 2 to No. 9 in our fifth annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business. Blame the high tax burden and a poor showing on trade and monetary freedom compared with many other developed nations. The 35% federal corporate tax rate is the highest of any OECD country according to the Tax Foundation. Meanwhile the government’s significant intervention in the economy during the economic downturn has weakened economic freedom in the U.S. ...A big mover up the rankings is Hong Kong, which swapped places with the U.S., moving up to No. 2 from No. 9. It scored in the top three for taxes, investor protection and both trade and monetary freedom.
The Top 10

1. Denmark
2. Hong Kong
3. New Zealand
4. Canada
5. Singapore
6. Ireland
7. Sweden
8. Norway
9. United States
10. United Kingdom

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