9/29/16 U.S. Competitiveness


When it comes to global business competitiveness, the U.S. gets a failing grade.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

In 2011, Harvard Business School launched the U.S. Competitiveness Project to examine the nation’s “slow growth, weak job creation, and stagnating incomes especially for the middle class.”

[The project found the percentage of people actually working places the U.S. near the very bottom of the nearly three-dozen most developed nations.]

[Economic growth has been falling since the 1960s. There was brief period of growth in the early 2000s. But we’ve been dropping since.]

[The project noted strong business components include higher education, entrepreneurship and access to investments. Weak elements include public education, tax code and the political system.]

The project examined two factors: The ability of businesses to compete in domestic and international markets. And improving worker wages and standard of living. The U.S. gets an “F” for both.

Job growth since the Great Recession has been in the low-wage sectors of hospitality and services. Growth in higher-skilled industries that compete on a global basis has been flat.

The project identified the following causes:

The corporate tax rate is the highest among developed nations and is punitive, stifling business growth.

In contrast to the flood of unskilled immigrants, barriers deny entry to highly-skilled foreign workers needed in technology industries.

Regulatory red-tape and suffocating regulations block business innovation.

There are also prohibitions to using domestic energy resources.

And Washington’s out-of-control spending is obstructing economic development.

Sadly, the project claims there’s no meaningful economic strategy in Washington to turn this around.

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