US falls to 5th in global competitiveness

The world is beginning to see our weaknesses, a major one of which is the $50 Trillion of public and private debt hanging over our heads. The economies ahead of us are no where near as large and complex as ours, but it should be embarrassing to our leaders that we are trending downward. We have to get some fiscal responsibility in Washington.

Excerpt: GENEVA — The U.S. has tumbled further down a global ranking of the world’s most competitive economies, landing at fifth place because of its huge deficits and declining public faith in government, a global economic group said Wednesday.

The announcement by the World Economic Forum was the latest bad news for the Obama administration, which has been struggling to boost the sinking U.S. economy and lower an unemployment rate of more than 9 percent.

Switzerland held onto the top spot for the third consecutive year in the annual ranking by the Geneva-based forum, which is best known for its exclusive meeting of luminaries in Davos, Switzerland, each January.

Singapore moved up to second place, bumping Sweden down to third. Finland moved up to fourth place, from seventh last year. The U.S. was in fourth place last year, after falling from No. 1 in 2008.

The rankings, which the forum has issued for more than three decades, are based on economic data and a survey of 15,000 business executives.

The forum praised the U.S. for its productivity, highly sophisticated and innovative companies, excellent universities and flexible labor market. But it also cited “a number of escalating weaknesses” such as rising government debt and declining public faith in political leaders and corporate ethics.

The results of a survey of 142 nations comes a day before Obama is preparing to tackle jobs issues in a speech to the U.S. Congress, and just as U.S. polls show a clear majority of those surveyed say they disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy.

Read full article here.

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