America's Competitiveness Ranking Falls Again, Survey Finds

Is America competitiveBy PAN PYLAS

LONDON -- 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 revealed 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 leaderboard.

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

The Forum -- which also hosts an annual gathering of global business and political leaders 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 Barack Obama 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 standoff 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 World Economic Forum.

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 the central African country of 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 competitiveness 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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In the next couple of months, we will all hear the same BS rhetoric that we have heard for the last 4 years about the President. He is a socialist/Marxist/communist/fascist Saul Alinsky following Trotskyite. That he hates America and he wants to destroy America because he is not really an American. I just hope after Obama gets re-elected, that those holding your poison pens dripping with venom, will realize that we do not have another 4 years to waste and that you need to put aside your pens if you truly love your country. Hoping that America fails just for the purpose of gaining power is the most un-patriotic act you can possibly perform. I know this is asking much from some of you, but not all. Hopefully there will be enough sane opposition left for the sake of our country.

September 07 2012 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is the republicans who want to enhance their power holding of our government. The whole idea is for the rich to gain more wealth. Sad state of affairs, all republicans should be sent home. Look no further than the GOP. They are working to dismantle our social security and medicare systems.

September 06 2012 at 2:52 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to toosmart4u's comment

Something else to ponder people.
How is it that we haven't have nearly as many people here in the U.S. than there is in China; and yet we are the top competitors, and still the leader of the world.
This is, truly, a God blessed country! And lets not lose it. It's possible that things might get so bad that America loses everything, financially that is. But what makes this country great isn't it's just the unparalleled and unmatched strength of our economy, weaker though it may be at the moment. It is the God given freedoms that our Founders secured for us in our Constitution that makes us great. It gives us the ability to make our own destiny, and to keep government from interfering in our lives. But it is our responsibility to be sure that our choices are based on our moral convictions. You know what's right and what's wrong because God has written on our heart, our conscience. We must make choices based on those. Government is here to protect us, keep order among the people, enforce laws to keep the citizens safe, and ensure our freedoms. They mustn't hinder us. We are free to act on our own convictions and what we know the Bible says is right or is wrong.
American society was based on Judeo-Christian values, which are gradually being eroded by media and pop culture. We mustn't forsake those values and our freedoms that our Founders held dear and were willing to die for. We must never forget!

September 06 2012 at 2:02 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Listen, we need to keep America in our prayers. Only God can fix this nation. He has given us a choice. Last year Americans chose someone who they thought was the "Messiah" and was going to solve America's problems. And how deceived American's were! But God has given us a second chance. We must make this thing right. Not just the economy, but America's spiritual condition aswell. Each individual must get things right between him and God before God can make things right again for the nation as a whole.
I am only 19 yrs. of age, and I have a burden for my country and where it's heading. I pray that everyone shares that same burden. God bless you all! And God bless the United States of America!

2 Chronicles 7:14
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

King James Version (KJV)

September 06 2012 at 1:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Shame on you President Barack Obama.

September 05 2012 at 11:50 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

No wonder Obama is favored in foreign capitals.

September 05 2012 at 11:30 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

The United States will NEVER be competitive as long as companies have to pay employees to work for them. No matter how low the price it will never compete with free.

September 05 2012 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Until we stop politicizing education, the US will continue to DROP in academic competitiveness. I would think that the education of our children would be the ONE THING that all you douche bag CONS and LIBS could agree on.

September 05 2012 at 9:38 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Take Obama out of the white house and you automatically gain confidence and productivity. We need to start at the top in order to make America better!

September 05 2012 at 8:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Linda's comment

Poor America not much of a choice this time around...either hope & change 2 or Lies and more lies 1. What a dilemma.

September 05 2012 at 9:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


September 05 2012 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply