Monday, May 28, 2012

Why America Is Slouching Towards Third World Status

The United States has been in decline relative to other countries for the last 30 years. On key metrics, we've fallen behind our peer group of industrialized countries, such as the UK, France, Germany, and Japan.

Am I exaggerating? Well, according to the Corruption Perception Index, we rank 24th in the world (only slightly better than Qatar) for public sector corruption. We rank 25th (way behind our peer group) in the OECD for math scores among 15-year-olds.

Over the past 30 years, our national debt has grown from about 30 percent of GDP to about 100 percent, and will become much worse based on current trends. In a recent survey of 10,000 Harvard Business School Alumni, "66 percent of respondents see the U.S. falling behind emerging economies." It is difficult to find many encouraging metrics.

By the way, China has been one of the most successful countries economically of the last 30 years. It's fitting then to quote the architect of its economic renaissance Deng Xiaoping"It doesn't matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice." For too many Americans, what matters is not whether the policy works, but whether it fits our preconceived ideologies.


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