The U.S. dropped two places in the economic competitiveness rankings this year. The new edition of the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, which came out last week, ranks the U.S. fourth, behind Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore. In the past week, bloggers have been digesting the drop and pondering its significance.

  • Goes to Show Obamanomics Is Hurting Us, declares the conservative editorial board at Investor's Business Daily. "Broadly speaking, the Geneva-based forum report cites 'a weakening of the United States' public and private institutions, as well as lingering concerns about the state of its financial markets." Their translation: "Not only is Obamanomics not working, it's doing material damage to America's economic well-being." We've slipped down the latter in the past two years, and now we're paying for it in less foreign direct investment: "As a rough rule of thumb, $560 billion in foreign investment supports a million jobs. So in two years the U.S. has lost nearly 840,000 jobs just from lower foreign investment."

  • This Actually Isn't All Obama's Fault "I'm tempted to chalk this up to Obamanomics, as Investors Business Daily does," writes conservative Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, but it's not quite fair: "The erosion of private-property rights began long before Obama moved into the White House, although he has certainly sped up the process." The Obama administration, he continues, has increased government intrusion into "private markets," though. It's time, he says, for everyone to sit up and take notice:
If we want to improve our economy, we need to improve our competitiveness. If we want to improve competitiveness, we need to protect property rights and get the federal government out of the redistribution business. Property rights are the first rights mentioned in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8) for a reason. It's the basis of prosperity and opportunity, and also the basis of a free, self-governing people. Falling behind China in property rights should be a national embarrassment, and a reminder of just how far we have traveled from our founding principles. And that journey didn't start with Barack Obama, even if he's been busy hitting the accelerator.
  • Look at the Countries Ahead of Us on Property Rights Property rights are "at the essence of US capitalism," writes Joe Weisenthal. "You know the US is screwed when China, Gambia, and Jordan have better property rights."
  • Well, the U.S. Isn't Uncompetitive, points out Portfolio's Kent Bernhard. "Its companies and universities remain the envy of most of the world." It's just that "there are serious issues holding the nation back from its once-dominant position," including "U.S. government debt, a weakening of public and private institutions, continuing concerns about the health of its financial institutions, and overall economic outlook."