Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Business in America, Glass half empty

PROFITS may be at a record high, but American businessfolk are feeling glum. Some moan that their pipeline-postponing president, Barack Obama, doesn’t understand how business works. Others fret that America itself is becoming dysfunctional. Much of this pessimism is uncalled for, but it matters nonetheless.

A survey published on January 18th offers unsettling detail. Fully 71% of the businesspeople polled expected America’s competitiveness to decline over the next three years. (National competitiveness is a slippery concept: countries do not compete in the same way that firms do. But the businessfolk in question answered some clearer questions, too.) Some 45% said that American firms will find it harder to compete in the global economy. A startling 64% said that American firms will find it harder to pay high wages and benefits. Read more....

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