Gross Domestic Product is the only factor where the U.S. ranks as #1, which we do both on "GDPâ€ť and on â€śGDP as a Share of World GDP.â€ť
Health Care has the U.S. ranking #34 on â€śLife Expectancy,â€ť and #41 on â€śInfant Mortality.â€ť
Education in the U.S. is also mediocre. On â€śQuality of Primary Education,â€ť we are #38. On â€śPrimary Education Enrollment Rate,â€ť we are #58. On â€śQuality of the Educational System,â€ť we are #28. On â€śQuality of Math and Science Education,â€ť we are #47. On â€śQuality of Scientific Research Institutions,â€ť we are #6. On â€śPCT [Patent Cooperation Treaty] Patent Applications [per-capita],â€ť we are #12. On â€śFirm-Level Technology Absorptionâ€ť (which is an indicator of business-acceptance of inventions), we are #14.
Trust is likewise only moderately high in the U.S. We rank #10 on â€śWillingness to Delegate Authority,â€ť #42 on â€śCooperation in Labor-Management Relations,â€ť and #18 in â€śDegree of Customer Orientationâ€ť of firms.
Corruption is apparently a rather pervasive problem in the U.S.
On â€śDiversion of Public Funds [due to corruption],â€ť the U.S. ranks #34. On â€śPublic Trust in Politicians,â€ť we are #54. On â€śIrregular Payments and Bribes,â€ť we are #42. On â€śJudicial Independence,â€ť we are #38. On â€śFavoritism in Decisions of Government Officialsâ€ť (otherwise known as governmental cronyism), we are #59.
On â€śOrganized Crime,â€ť we are #87. On â€śEthical Behavior of Firms,â€ť we are #29. On â€śReliability of Police Services,â€ť we are #30. On â€śTransparency of Governmental Policymaking,â€ť we are #56. On â€śEfficiency of Legal Framework in Challenging Regulations,â€ť we are #37. On â€śEfficiency of Legal Framework in Settling Disputes,â€ť we are #35. On â€śBurden of Government Regulation,â€ť we are #76. On â€śWastefulness of Government Spending,â€ť we are also #76. On â€śProperty Rightsâ€ť protection (the basic law-and-order measure), we are #42.
Investors find somewhat shaky ground in the U.S.
On â€śStrength of Investor Protection,â€ť we are #5. On â€śProtection of Minority Shareholdersâ€™ Interests,â€ť we are #33. On â€śEfficacy of Corporate Boards,â€ť we are #23. On â€śReliance on Professional Management,â€ť we are #19. On â€śStrength of Auditing and Reporting Standards,â€ť we are #37. On â€śVenture Capital Availability,â€ť we are #10. On â€śIntellectual Property Protection,â€ť we are #29. On â€śSoundness of Banks,â€ť we are #80. On â€śRegulation of Securities Exchanges,â€ť we are #39. On â€śCountry Credit Rating,â€ť we are #11. On â€śGovernment Debt [as a % of GDP],â€ť we are #136. On â€śEffectiveness of Anti-Monopoly Policy,â€ť we are #17. On â€śExtent of Market Dominance,â€ť we are #9.
Technology is moderately good here. The U.S. ranks #14 on â€śAvailability of Latest Technologies,â€ť #24 on â€śInternet Access in Schools,â€ť #20 on â€śInternet Users [%],â€ť #33 on â€śInternet Bandwidth [per user],â€ť and #8 on â€śMobile Broadband Subscriptions [%].â€ť
Infrastructure is fairly good in the U.S. We rank #25 on â€śQuality of Overall Infrastructure,â€ť #33 on â€śQuality of Electricity Supply,â€ť #30 on â€śQuality of Air Transport Infrastructure,â€ť #19 on â€śQuality of Port Infrastructure,â€ť and #20 on â€śQuality of Roads.â€ť
Taxes also definitely donâ€™t qualify as being good in the U.S. We rank #69 on â€śExtent and Effect of Taxation,â€ť in which the â€śEffectâ€ť thatâ€™s considered is reducing the â€śincentives to work or invest.â€ť We are #103 on â€śTotal Tax Rate,â€ť #47 on â€śNumber of Procedures Required to Start a Businessâ€ť (which is an indirect tax), and #50 on â€śPrevalence of Trade Barriersâ€ť (both tariff and non-tariff).
The U.S, overall, is very far from being #1 â€“ not really in contention, at all, for the top spot. The rankings suggest instead that this nation is sinking toward the Third World. The nations that stand high on most of these lists are Finland, Switzerland, Singapore, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Japan, Canada, Qatar, Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, and Hong Kong.
The nations that generally rank in the bottom half of these rankings are the ones that are typically cited as being â€śThird World,â€ť or poor.
Original article on AlterNet