So Newsweek has recently issued it’s “World’s Best Countries” ranking based on education, health, quality of life, economic dynamism, political environment. The UK weighs in at 14th place – behind Germany’s 12th – but ahead of France’s 16th and Italy’s 23rd rankings. Guess where the US is? The United States ranks in 11th place – behind Canada’s 7th place and Japan’s 8th place – putting it in the middle of the G7.
Maybe one reason for the US’ mid-level ranking is the severity of this recession and how different it is from the past few — how chronically it has affected white-collar professionals, especially those in California which has an unemployment rate approaching 13%. This one State, the world’s 7th largest economy, would displace Canada in the G8 if allowed to be admitted. As a key driver of technology innovations and economic renewal, this is very bad news indeed.
What this recession has done, interestingly, is make American companies even hungrier for business, finding creative ways to retain custom more than ever before. This is good news for consumers – customer service keeps improving – if evidenced only by my dry cleaners phoning me to extend a hearty thanks for my custom (can’t see that happening in European settings somehow!).
I also observed American department stores & supermarket retailers pushing their ‘value’ and own-label ranges which is a growing and lucrative source of income.
For more about Newsweek’s ranking: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/15/interactive-infographic-of-the-worlds-best-countries.html