I just heard on NPR that a new report has been released showing Finland to be the "most competitive country" in the world. The US came in second with its big-old whopping economy. All the other Scandinavian countries were in the upper end of the top ten. Fast-growing China and India were around 49th and 50th place. Remember, Norway is also the best place in the world to live.
Now, isn't it curious that one of America's biggest fears is how decent healthcare, education, and welfare systems, and higher taxes (that actually do something) would make the US less competitive? And that slower economic growth is the orthodox economist's nightmare?
Nearly all economic and political signs point in the direction of reforms and policies Scandinavian countries have made for years -- higher taxes, cleaner environment, better basic capabilities due to good and accessible healthcare and education, investment in high-tech, investment in its citizenry. Now they're also more competitive? Ouch.
I'll have to find the report for details -- such is listening to the radio with one ear.