“In a 2011 survey, Porter and his colleagues asked HBS alumni about 607 instances of decisions on whether or not to offshore operations. The United States retained the business in just ninety-six cases (16 per cent) and lost it in all the rest. Asked why they favoured foreign locations, the respondents listed the areas where they saw the US falling further behind the rest of the world. The top ten reasons included:
  • the effectiveness of the political system;
  • the complexity of the tax code;
  • regulation;
  • the efficiency of the legal framework;
  • flexibility in hiring and firing.
 “Evidence that the United States is suffering some kind of institutional loss of competitiveness can be found not only in Porter’s work but also in the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Index and, in particular, the Executive Opinion Survey on which it is partly based. The survey includes fifteen measures of the rule of law, ranging from the protection of private property rights to the policing of corruption and the control of organized crime. It is an astonishing yet scarcely acknowledged fact that on no fewer than fifteen out of fifteen counts, the United States now fares markedly worse than Hong Kong. Taiwan outranks the US in nine out of fifteen. Even mainland China does better in two dimensions. Indeed, the United States makes the global top twenty in only one area. On every other count, its reputation is shockingly bad. In the Heritage Foundation’s Freedom Index, too, the US ranks twenty-first in the world in terms of freedom from corruption, a considerable distance behind Hong Kong and Singapore.”

Excerpt From: Ferguson, Niall. “The Great Degeneration.” Penguin Group, USA, 2013-05-15. iBooks.

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