Survey finds US competitive ranking down again

(AP)—The United States' ability to compete on the global stage has fallen for the fourth year running as confidence in the country's politicians continues to decline, an annual survey from the World Economic Forum found Wednesday.

Even though the world's largest economy saw its overall competitiveness rise on the back of its status as a global innovation powerhouse, the Forum says the U.S.'s ranking has dropped two places to seventh this year. The Netherlands and Germany have moved ahead of the U.S. on the top 10 .

The report found that some aspects of the U.S.'s political environment continue to raise concern among , "particularly the low in politicians and a perceived lack of government efficiency."

The Forum—which also hosts an annual gathering of and in the Swiss ski resort of Davos every January—ranks a country's competitiveness according to factors such as the state of its infrastructure and its ability to foster innovation.

The survey comes just a day before President addresses the Democratic National Convention in his bid to defeat Republican candidate Mitt Romney in November's election.

A little over a year ago, the United States lost its triple A credit rating from Standard & Poor's after a stand-off between Republicans and Democrats over the raising of the debt ceiling stoked fears of a potential debt default.

"We urge governments to act decisively by adopting long-term measures to enhance competitiveness and return the world to a sustainable growth path," said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the .

Switzerland tops the overall rankings of 144 economies in the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13 for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Singapore. The Forum said Switzerland's standing rests notably on its innovation and labor market efficiency, as well as the sophistication of its business sector.

Including Switzerland, six northern European countries make up the top 10. Others on the leaderboard include Hong Kong and Japan, while central African country Burundi brings up the rear.

Though northern European countries have consolidated their positions since the financial crisis of 2008, the survey found that those in southern Europe, such as Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy, continue to suffer from a host of economic problems, including poor access to financing and rigid labor markets. Greece is faring worst of Europe's problem economies and is ranked at 96th.

"Persistent divides in across regions and within regions, particularly in Europe, are at the origin of the turbulence we are experimenting today, and this is jeopardizing our future prosperity," said Schwab.

Elsewhere, the Forum found that leading emerging economies are displaying different performances. China, at 29th place, has risen in the rankings and leads the group, while Brazil has moved up to 48th. However, others such as South Africa, India and Russia have fallen.

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Sep 06, 2012
The worst aspect of competition for global industries is the pesky habit of collecting taxes and auditing corporations, processes often waved or ignored by other inviting places like Dubai, the Cayman Islands or Bermuda.

Sep 06, 2012
The worst aspect of competition for global industries is the pesky habit of collecting taxes and auditing corporations, processes often waved or ignored by other inviting places like Dubai, the Cayman Islands or Bermuda.

Yeah, it's a real shame that businesses should pay for the use of infrastructure or for the damages they cause to the environment. And heavens forbid they should be audited to conform to safety and health stahdards of any kind (labor are slaves. If one dies just buy another. And if someone suffers because of the wastes they pump into the environment - well, that's tough luck, right?).
Any such costs should definitely be payed for by the taxes of people who aren't affiliated with the business.

Sep 06, 2012
First, no business pays taxes. Their customers do.
Second, why does do Switzerland and Singapore top the list? Could it be they have stable govts with little corruption?
Most people are willing to pay taxes IF those taxes are used efficiently and wisely. But that's like anything people are willing to pay for, value for THEIR money.
Also not the size of the countries with high rankings and compare those to US states instead of the country overall and many US states are quite competitive.

"Looking forward, productivity improvements and private sector investment will be key to improving global economies "

Private sector investment, NOT govt 'investment'.

Sep 07, 2012
Ryggtard has it backwards of course. No people pay taxes. Corporations do.

When taxes go up, people demand higher wages from the corporations.

"Second, why does do Switzerland and Singapore top the list? " - RyggTard

Because they are advanced Socialist states with a well educated population who are capable of electing rational leadership.

This contrasts with America, who's population is ignorant in comparison, are no longer capable of selecting rational leaders, and half of the population - the Republican population - is set on borrowing and spending the nation into bankruptcy in order to reduce the size of government.

Their plan of treason is known as "starve the beast".

Look it up.

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