¬†Niall Ferguson in the Wall Street Journal ahead of his new book The Great Degeneration —

In only one category out of 22 (in World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report) is the U.S. ranked in the global top 20 (the strength of investor protection). In seven categories it does not even make the top 50. For example, the WEF ranks the U.S. 87th in terms of the costs imposed on business by “organized crime (mafia-oriented racketeering, extortion).” In every single category, Hong Kong does better.¬†

The chart above is the actual responses from the WEF survey of US executives asked to rank the top 5 constraints on business (page 360). The weighted response is 1.1 percent for any kind of crime. That’s lower than the responses for “foreign currency regulations.” Apparently moving dollars around is somewhat difficult too. Somehow WEF is able to translate these country-specific responses into a global ranking that conveys American businessmen cowering in the executive suite as mobsters rampage on the factory floor. It’s a miracle the country has any growth at all!

4 thoughts on “Godfather.gov

  1. And inflation is tied for number 5. Inadequately trained business leaders of our inadequately trained workforce, indeed.

  2. I guess Rupert Murdock owning your company means never having to worry about whether the sources that you cite actually support your assertions. If Rupert likes it, it’s all good…

  3. I guess Jim Crow doesn’t know cost inflation is high, and a serious competitive barrier in some industries in the US. That is separate from the overall CPI-U.

  4. You can no more generalize about the US than you can about Europe. There are 50 states and 50 different cultures. Some of them are indeed mafia-controlled, while others are almost Finland-like. The mafia works through unions, so if you stick to the nonunion states, you will not be shaken-down as you would be where the unions run the show. Unfortunately, most Europeans have never visited a nonunion state, since they tend to be in the South or the Fly-Over Zone.

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