They’re gaining on us

Outforcing has lots of components, but all of them pretty much boil down to one thing: we’re slipping and other nations are gaining on us. Education is an important example. So is economic policy:

America is losing its status as one of the freest economies in the world. The punitive U.S. tax code, out-of-control spending levels, and onerous regulations are making America less competitive in the international economy. According to the Index of Economic Freedom, the U.S. is no longer one of the top ten freest economies for the first time since the index was started in 1994. The Index, published by The Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation, found that economic freedom is spreading world wide, with 86 nations receiving better scores. Unfortunately, America’s score remained the same while Chile, Australia, and Iceland further opened their economies and surpassed the United States. Currently, the U.S. is tied with Switzerland for 12th place. America’s worst Index category was the “fiscal burden” of government, due to Washington’s rapidly growing spending and one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Excessive regulation is another reason the U.S. failed to the make the top ten. The editors found that U.S. capital market regulation is more disruptive than ever, and that some firms have been forced to retreat from the public equity market altogether.

You can find the Index here.