Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

25 February 2010

The Ease of Doing Business by Country

The World Bank ranks countries for the ease of doing business.  The list below gives the top 60 countries with the 2010 and the 2009 ranks, followed by a final number after the country name indicating the number of reforms in the last year to make it easier to do business:

1 1 Singapore 3
2 2 New Zealand 0
3 3 Hong Kong, China 3
4 4 United States 0
5 6 United Kingdom 2
6 5 Denmark 0
7 7 Ireland 1
8 8 Canada 0
9 9 Australia 0
10 10 Norway 1
11 16 Georgia 2
12 12 Thailand 1
13 15 Saudi Arabia 2
14 11 Iceland 1
15 13 Japan 0
16 14 Finland 1
17 24 Mauritius 6
18 17 Sweden 0
19 23 Korea, Rep. 2
20 18 Bahrain 1
21 19 Switzerland 0
22 20 Belgium 2
23 21 Malaysia 2
24 22 Estonia 2
25 27 Germany 2
26 25 Lithuania 1
27 30 Latvia 2
28 26 Austria 0
29 29 Israel 1
30 28 Netherlands 1
31 31 France 2
32 69 Macedonia, FYR 7
33 47 United Arab Emirates 3
34 32 South Africa 1
35 33 Puerto Rico 0
36 34 St. Lucia 1
37 49 Colombia 8
38 38 Azerbaijan 2
39 37 Qatar 0
40 36 Cyprus 0
41 80 Kyrgyz Republic 7
42 35 Slovak Republic 1
43 50 Armenia 3
44 42 Bulgaria 2
45 39 Botswana 2
46 61 Taiwan, China 2
47 41 Hungary 1
48 48 Portugal 4
49 40 Chile 0
50 44 Antigua and Barbuda 0
51 55 Mexico 2
52 46 Tonga 1
53 58 Slovenia 2
54 43 Fiji 1
55 45 Romania 1
56 65 Peru 6
57 68 Samoa 2
58 82 Belarus 6
59 57 Vanuatu 1
60 56 Mongolia 0

Once again, the U.S., the country most known for Capitalism is only number 4 on the list.  For the 4th year, Singapore leads the list.  Apparently, Singapore and Hong Kong are both interested in being countries with a good business climate, since each made reforms to improve.  Note that the U.S. made no useful reforms.  In fact, under the planned economy approach of Obama, we have been on the verge of doing innumerable bad deeds to businesses.  Fortunately, ObamaCare, Cap and Trade, Union Card Check, Capital Gains and Corporate Tax Increases, and the EPA regulations on CO2 emissions he wants have not yet taken effect.  But, the huge deficits, the proposed new taxes and regulations, and the rhetoric against doing business have all taken quite a toll on the business climate all by themselves.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is moving up the list and on our heels.  Eight of the top 9 countries are or were once controlled by the United Kingdom.  The only exception is Denmark and the number 10 country is Norway.  Norway and Denmark both have longstanding trading relations with the UK.  Japan lost ground in the rankings, going from 13th to 15th.  Germany gained ground, going from 27th to 25th.  The Netherlands was once a very good country for doing business, but it fell from 28th to 30th.  France is 31st on the list.  Our neighbor Canada is number 8 and our neighbor Mexico is 51, having moved up from 55.  Korea moved up from 23 to 19.  Israel is 29.

We should all applaud those countries who have tried to make it easier to do business in the last year.  We should, however, replace the slacker American government which has tried so hard to make it harder to do business.

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