In the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness ranking, the U.S. drops from first place to sixth thanks to its deficits and health care Americans aren’t No. 1 anymore, and their government is largely to blame. That seems to be the bottom line of a new survey of global competitiveness in which the U.S. slipped from first to sixth place, behind Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Singapore. While the U.S. excelled in such business categories as market efficiency and innovation, its score in the World Economic Forum’s annual ranking was dragged down by government-related measures. Out of 125 countries, the U.S. was 40th in health care and primary education and a lowly 69th in macroeconomy, reflecting its large budget and trade deficits. In macroeconomy, the U.S. scored lower than such nations as Vietnam, Venezuela, Uganda, the Philippines, Peru, and Nigeria. (Ouch.) The forum-a nonprofit best known for its annual conclave of the bright and famous in Davos, Switzerland-based the rankings on official data and interviews with 11,000 executives around the world. Its partners in the report were Microsoft (MSFT), FedEx (FDX), and the U.S. Agency for International Development. HEALTH-CARE HANDICAP. Was the deck stacked against the […]

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