America Compared

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Purchasing-Power-of-the-US-Dollar-1900-2005.jpgThe World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index offers comparative rankings for 139 countries.  Here is the pdf of the United States report.

Here's how the United States ranked on the various criteria in the 2010-2011 Global Competitiveness Report

The picture is not good.  One of the few categories in which the US leads the world is "University-industry collaboration in R&D" -- and many engineering and science department chiefs, most recently at UC San Diego, tell me that America can't afford to take this leadership position for granted.

2.1: Country/Economy Profiles
The Global Competitiveness Index in detail
INDICATOR RANK/139

UNITED STATES

1st pillar: Institutions

1.01 Property rights.........................................................................40
1.02 Intellectual property protection ...............................................24
1.03 Diversion of public funds.........................................................34
1.04 Public trust of politicians .........................................................54
1.05 Irregular payments and bribes.................................................40
1.06 Judicial independence .............................................................35
1.07 Favoritism in decisions of government officials ......................55
1.08 Wastefulness of government spending ..................................68
1.09 Burden of government regulation ...........................................49
1.10 Efficiency of legal framework in settling disputes ..................33
1.11 Efficiency of legal framework in challenging regulations ........35
1.12 Transparency of government policymaking.............................41
1.13 Business costs of terrorism ..................................................125
1.14 Business costs of crime and violence.....................................84
1.15 Organized crime ......................................................................86
1.16 Reliability of police services ....................................................26
1.17 Ethical behavior of firms..........................................................30
1.18 Strength of auditing and reporting standards..........................55
1.19 Efficacy of corporate boards ...................................................28
1.20 Protection of minority shareholders' interests ........................40
1.21 Strength of investor protection* ...............................................5

2nd pillar: Infrastructure

2.01 Quality of overall infrastructure ...............................................23
2.02 Quality of roads .......................................................................19
2.03 Quality of railroad infrastructure..............................................18
2.04 Quality of port infrastructure ...................................................22
2.05 Quality of air transport infrastructure ......................................32
2.06 Available airline seat kilometers* ..............................................1
2.07 Quality of electricity supply .....................................................23
2.08 Fixed telephone lines* ............................................................16
2.09 Mobile telephone subscriptions* ............................................71

3rd pillar: Macroeconomic environment

3.01 Government budget balance* ...............................................118
3.02 National savings rate* ...........................................................130
3.03 Inflation*..................................................................................15
3.04 Interest rate spread*...............................................................26
3.05 Government debt* ................................................................122
3.06 Country credit rating*..............................................................11

4th pillar: Health and primary education

4.01 Business impact of malaria .......................................................1
4.02 Malaria incidence*.....................................................................1
4.03 Business impact of tuberculosis .............................................53
4.04 Tuberculosis incidence* ............................................................6
4.05 Business impact of HIV/AIDS..................................................80
4.06 HIV prevalence* ......................................................................89
4.07 Infant mortality* ......................................................................41
4.08 Life expectancy* .....................................................................34
4.09 Quality of primary education ...................................................34
4.10 Primary education enrollment rate* ........................................79

5th pillar: Higher education and training

5.01 Secondary education enrollment rate* ...................................45
5.02 Tertiary education enrollment rate*...........................................6
5.03 Quality of the educational system...........................................26
5.04 Quality of math and science education...................................52
5.05 Quality of management schools .............................................11
5.06 Internet access in schools.......................................................14
5.07 Local availability of research and training services..................10
5.08 Extent of staff training.............................................................10

6th pillar: Goods market efficiency

6.01 Intensity of local competition ..................................................16
6.02 Extent of market dominance.....................................................9
6.03 Effectiveness of anti-monopoly policy ....................................17
6.04 Extent and effect of taxation...................................................71
6.05 Total tax rate*..........................................................................89
6.06 Number of procedures required to start a business* .............34
6.07 Time required to start a business*..........................................13
6.08 Agricultural policy costs...........................................................58
6.09 Prevalence of trade barriers ....................................................67
6.10 Trade tariffs*............................................................................32
6.11 Prevalence of foreign ownership ............................................47
6.12 Business impact of rules on FDI .............................................77
6.13 Burden of customs procedures...............................................48
6.14 Degree of customer orientation ..............................................22
6.15 Buyer sophistication ................................................................13

7th pillar: Labor market efficiency

7.01 Cooperation in labor-employer relations..................................33
7.02 Flexibility of wage determination ............................................34
7.03 Rigidity of employment* ...........................................................1
7.04 Hiring and firing practices..........................................................6
7.05 Redundancy costs* ...................................................................1
7.06 Pay and productivity ..................................................................9
7.07 Reliance on professional management ...................................15
7.08 Brain drain .................................................................................3
7.09 Female participation in labor force* ........................................49

8th pillar: Financial market development

8.01 Availability of financial services ...............................................15
8.02 Affordability of financial services.............................................21
8.03 Financing through local equity market ....................................36
8.04 Ease of access to loans...........................................................34
8.05 Venture capital availability........................................................13
8.06 Restriction on capital flows .....................................................69
8.07 Soundness of banks..............................................................111
8.08 Regulation of securities exchanges ........................................64
8.09 Legal rights index* ..................................................................20

9th pillar: Technological readiness

9.01 Availability of latest technologies ..............................................7
9.02 Firm-level technology absorption ............................................11
9.03 FDI and technology transfer....................................................55
9.04 Internet users* ........................................................................17
9.05 Broadband Internet subscriptions* .........................................16
9.06 Internet bandwidth* ................................................................29
10th pillar: Market size

10.01 Domestic market size index*....................................................1
10.02 Foreign market size index* .......................................................2
11th pillar: Business sophistication

11.01 Local supplier quantity.............................................................11
11.02 Local supplier quality ...............................................................14
11.03 State of cluster development....................................................6
11.04 Nature of competitive advantage ............................................19
11.05 Value chain breadth .................................................................15
11.06 Control of international distribution ...........................................8
11.07 Production process sophistication...........................................11
11.08 Extent of marketing...................................................................1
11.09 Willingness to delegate authority..............................................8
12th pillar: Innovation

12.01 Capacity for innovation ..............................................................6
12.02 Quality of scientific research institutions ..................................4
12.03 Company spending on R&D......................................................6
12.04 University-industry collaboration in R&D...................................1
12.05 Gov't procurement of advanced tech products ........................5
12.06 Availability of scientists and engineers .....................................4
12.07 Utility patents per million population*.......................................3

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Steve Clemons is Washington editor at large for The Atlantic and editor of Atlantic Live. He writes frequently about politics and foreign affairs. More

Clemons is a senior fellow and the founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a centrist think tank in Washington, D.C., where he previously served as executive vice president. He writes and speaks frequently about the D.C. political scene, foreign policy, and national security issues, as well as domestic and global economic-policy challenges.

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