President Barack Obama’s claims about the supremacy of America’s workers, universities, and markets in a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are “silly and likely counterproductive.” In fact, the Heritage Foundation’s 2011 Index of Economic Freedom ranked the United States ninth, The Washington Post reported.
Obama said in the speech that the United States has “the most productive workers, the finest universities and the freest markets.”
However, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics put the United States third in productivity behind Norway and Ireland, various well-known surveys on universities put the United States near the top but not at it, and the assertion that the United States has the freest markets is “also questionable,” the Post said.
The Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation’s 2011 Index of Economic Freedom ranked the United States ninth.
The ranking, which assessed such things as property rights, government spending, and business, trade, and fiscal freedom, put Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand ahead of the United States, which ended up in a category of “mostly free” along with 23 countries including Denmark and Bahrain, the Post said.
“Unabashed boosterism can make people lazy. Certainly the United States has among the most productive workers, many of the finest universities and nearly the freest markets. But to claim the United States is No. 1 in all three cases is silly and likely counterproductive,” the Post concluded. But concluded there were no “outright falsehoods.”
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