As widely reported last week, the U.S. has fallen out of the Top 10 countries on the Legatum Institute’s Annual Prosperity Index.
Scandinavian countries dominated, with Norway, Denmark and Sweden grabbing the top 3 positions in the 2012 ranking. The U.S. fell to the 12th position, behind No. 6 Canada; No. 7 Finland; and No. 11 Luxembourg, among others.
The Legatum Prosperity Index seeks to capture long-term underlying components of national prosperity, rather than focus on quarterly or annual fluctuations in national economies.
In discussing this year’s ranking, authors Jeffrey Gedmin and Nathan Gamester caution against outdated thinking that places to much emphasis on GDP growth when evaluating national prosperity:
“For three-quarters of a century, gross domestic product has been single most important framework for evaluating economic success. In recent years, though, a ‘beyond GDP’ debate has started.” My recent column “Can America’s middle-class learn something from France?” makes a similar case that higher GDP numbers do not necessarily equate to higher prosperity for the middle-class.
The Wall Street Journal, a pro-business bastion of Republican-leaning fiscal conservatism, published “U.S. Prosperity Is In Decline” by the Legatum authors as its lead op-ed on October 30th. Read more »