Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Economic collapse

Yesterday, I mused that I could bring the United States economy to its knees simply by applying my spectacularly specious speculative skills to a daytrading account, only to correct myself by assenting that the economy went into the toilet without any help from me at least a year ago. With the passage of the stimulus bill this summer, I thought I heard that we were at the "beginning of the end" of our economic troubles, so it came as quite a shock when I learned that the US economy has been knocked out of the top spot as the most competitive economy in the world. King of the rankings since they were established by the World Economic Forum in 2004, our five-year reign of supremacy has come to an end.

Oh, no! Has China finally risen to claim supremacy and declare the dawn of the apocalypse so artfully foretold in the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics (What? That wasn't the central theme? Really? My fortune cookie from that night begs to differ). Actually, no, it's not China that took the top spot.

Then it's India, right? All those guys who provide technical support over the phone (Hello ...this ... is ... Mike ... nice ... to ... talk ... to ... you) finally cast off their headsets and rose up against the West with the rebellious flourish of a Bollywood closing number. Nope, not India either.

Okay, I know, it's the European Union, on a technicality, like when the EU caught up to the US by adding 10 new member nations last spring.

Nope, it's actually one nation that belongs to the EU ... Switzerland. Yep, Switzerland, that bastion of neutrality has an economy that is more competitive than the United States'.

Oh, come on! Switzerland? How can we be beaten by the Swiss? They don't even want to compete; they're neutral, the beige of nations. We might lose to the Swiss in just about every Winter Olympic event but we clean their clocks (pun intended) in the Summer Games. Fine, I'll give you Roger Federer, chocolate, army knives, bank accounts, clocks and cheese, but that's it. Do they even make cars in Switzerland? Well, to be fair, do we still make cars in the US? Switzerland doesn't even have a navy. Sure, it's landlocked, but let's not have any facts clouding my opinions.

Give Switzerland its due. It is the headquarters of many international organizations, including the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization, FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, and what's this, the World Economic Forum, which just so happens to come up with these rankings. I smell a little home cooking and it ain't the apple rosti.

You know what? I don't care who makes the rankings. If Swiss Miss thinks she can take out Uncle Sam, then I think I know just the guy to take care of her business:

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