The President is on my TV again, telling me tax cuts for corporations and high income individuals will make “America competitive again.” The unanswered questions: (1) Who says we aren’t competitive NOW? and (2) with WHOM?
Only those who haven’t been paying attention or have a vested interest in painting the US economy as “non-competitive” for the purpose of getting American families to bail out the big boys would have missed this item from USA Today in September 2017:
“The U.S. is the second-most competitive economy in the world, its highest ranking in eight years, the World Economic Forum said Tuesday as the country’s innovation edge and business optimism bolstered its standing.
Switzerland retained its No. 1 ranking, according to the forum’s global competitiveness report for 2017-18. Rounding out the top 10 behind the U.S. among 137 countries are Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan and Finland.
The U.S. moved up from third place last year. It lost its top status during the financial crisis and recession of 2007-09, and fell as low as No. 7 in 2012-2013 before steadily climbing the past few years.”
What’s keeping us at the top of the st? Business acumen and innovation. What’s a drag on the economy? We’re about 19th in health and educational institutions, scratching for points in the categories of public trust and corporate ethics, and 83rd in macroeconomic environment — econ-speak for debt. [USAT] So, the Republicans have a wonderful plan to increase debts by $1.4 trillion? And, this is going to “make us competitive?”
And with whom are we “competing?” Is it Switzerland with a GDP of $297 billion? Singapore with a $659.8 billion GDP? Netherlands at $770.8 billion? Or, Hong Kong at $320.9 billion? Sweden at $511 billion? Finland at $236.79 billion? These countries aren’t even close to the American GDP.
Germany is closer at $3.467 trillion GDP, the UK’s GDP is $2.619 trillion, and Japan’s GDP is $4.939 trillion. China is closer to the US in terms of GDP at $11.2 trillion. The US GDP is $18.57 trillion. If you’ve guessed the three largest economies on this planet are (1) USA (2) China, and (3) Japan you win the prize. [World Bank]
It’s really hard to argue that the USA isn’t “competitive” when it’s winning the race. The current GOP contention is rather like arguing the man and woman who won the New York Marathon weren’t “really competitive?”
However, this won’t stop the GOP from beating the drum and continually repeating the assertion that “we aren’t competitive” until they can get people to believe them. It “feels” like we aren’t competing because manufacturing jobs have moved overseas — but there’s nothing in the GOP tax bill that prevents this, in fact territorial taxation schemes (such as the one in the tax bill) actually encourage overseas investment. It “feels” like we aren’t competitive because wages have been stagnant — but giving most of the tax cut benefits to those who need them the least (corporations stuffed with cash, high income earners) isn’t going to address that problem either.
I’m waiting for some intrepid reporter to ask the Administration or some of its supporters like Senator Dean Heller and Representative Mark Amodei, how is it that we are almost at the top of the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness chart, and at the top of the GDP statistics, and yet the GOP still says “we aren’t competitive?”