Due in large part to an explosion of government spending and less secure property rights, the United States plunged to its lowest ever ranking on the Economic Freedom of the World report, dropping from second place out of 144 nations in 2000 to a humiliating 18th in this year’s annual survey. The global average scores, meanwhile, actually increased slightly.
The Federal Reserve has announced that it would begin yet another round of quantitative easing, a maneuver that has caused the independent and nationally recognized statistical rating organization Egan-Jones to lower the U.S. government to “AA-“ from “AA.” Egan-Jones specifically cited the third round of quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve, indicating it would hurt the U.S. economy and the nation’s credit quality.
As the real unemployment rate hovers around 19 percent, with more Americans dropping out of the labor force and others being forced to take low-paying, part-time jobs, job creation continues to move at a painfully slow pace. And while a number of lawmakers have proposed a variety of approaches to stimulate job growth, most seem to ignore the fact that a major inhibiter to job growth is the abundance of federal regulations, which have increased dramatically under this administration. According to CNS News, the Code of Federal Regulations has increased by 11,327 pages in just the last three years.
While a record number of Americans are not currently in the labor force, according to the Department of Labor, unemployment for government workers drops to 5.1 percent, the lowest among all industries.
The United States dropped in the Global Competitiveness Index ranking for the fourth year in a row because of exploding debt and deficits even as liberty-minded Switzerland maintained its top spot, according to an annual survey published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Having placed fifth last year and first in 2008 before Obama assumed power, the U.S. economy continued its downward spiral, slipping to an embarrassing seventh place in the most recent 2012-2013 rankings. Even Sweden, famous for its massive government and high taxes, ranks higher than America.
According to the WEF survey, the American economy’s sharp decline in recent years is due to, among other problems, a lack of trust in government and politicians — especially by businesses — as well as declining macroeconomic and political stability. More important to the latest drop in the rankings this year, however: increasing fears over the U.S. economy’s fiscal health as the federal government continues to borrow more than a trillion dollars per year with no end in sight.