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Yeah! We’re Number 40, 11, 16, 22, 24, 27, 48, and 29!  

A big reason why America keeps drifting ever deeper into mediocrity is a misperception about how far we have already declined, how determined and effective our foreign competition is, and how ineffective minor tweaks to current policies are likely to be. It's gotten so bad that even Tom Friedman is chastened:

"Here is a little dose of reality about where we actually rank today," says Vest: sixth in global innovation-based competitiveness, but 40th in rate of change over the last decade; 11th among industrialized nations in the fraction of 25- to 34-year-olds who have graduated from high school; 16th in college completion rate; 22nd in broadband Internet access; 24th in life expectancy at birth; 27th among developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving degrees in science or engineering; 48th in quality of K-12 math and science education; and 29th in the number of mobile phones per 100 people.

Friedman may still think the way up is doubling down on globalization. To the contrary, we can't afford to fix these problems if Americans' real personal incomes continue to be hammered by the ways in which the US has designed and implemented globalization and free trade.

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Reader Comments (1)

Transparency International released its new global national rankings in October. The US fell from 19th in the list of corruption rankings to 21st. If we drop 2 notches a year for the next 10 years, we'll end up at an Egyptian level. Going down on this count also.

November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

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