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November 9, 2010
The Big Picture: U.S. Competitiveness Continues to Slip
 

We're not saddling you with macroeconomics, and we're not turning political, but we thought you ought to know, as part the overall context of your PR endeavors, that the competitiveness of the U.S. on the global scene is officially slipping. Industry Market Trends on ThomasNet reports that, as the World Economic Forum (WEF) sees it, the U.S. slipped from second place to fourth in global competitiveness in 2010. 

Switzerland is considered the most competitive country, followed by Sweden, Singapore, the U.S., Germany, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Canada. Switzerland tops the competitive rankings for the second year "due to its powerful capacity for innovation and sophisticated business culture. Strong collaboration between the academic and business sectors, as well as high research and development spending, drive the creation of marketable products, while Switzerland's government and regulatory structures remain transparent and supportive of business endeavors," the WEF advises.

The U.S. fell to second place in the world competitive rankings in 2009, and is continuing to slip, as the WEF sees it. "Although the U.S. maintains high productivity, efficient labor markets and is by far the world's largest domestic economy, growing distrust of its public and private institutions, as well as concerns about the government's role in supporting the private sector, have contributed to the recent decline in competitiveness."

"Growing distrust of its public and private institutions" -- there's a big picture PR concern, and challenge, if we ever  saw one.

"A lack of macroeconomic stability continues to be the United States' greatest area of weakness (ranked 87th)," the WEF report states. "Prior to the (economic) crisis, the United States had been building up large macroeconomic imbalances, with repeated fiscal deficits leading to burgeoning levels of public indebtedness; this has been exacerbated by significant stimulus spending. In this context, it is clear that mapping out a clear exit strategy will be an important step in reinforcing the country's competitiveness going into the future."

We all, it seems, need to get together on this. 


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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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