This site presents six analyses of the United States of America government's economic policies compared to a list of 34 economic policies as prepared by students Tim Schiller, Kaiden Mcallister, Jackson Morgan, Rico Jaime Jr, Eric Voorhees and Oscar Tranam with the Mike P. McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis (MIEPA). These studies were written in May of 2017. To read the analyses scroll through this site. To learn more about the background policies, click here
To learn more about MIEPA, click here
Return to MIEPA's Home Page
Six studies of the economic policies of the United States of America are presented here. The first study presented is by native born United States student Tim Schiller. Specialist Tim Schiller's analysis is presented immediately below. To read further studies by other native born Specialists, scroll through Specialist Tim Schiller's study. The ratings herein are based on the following rating scale:
5.0 Perfect Facilitation of Wealth Creation
4.0 Midway between Perfect and Neutral
3.0 Neutral Effect on Wealth Creation
2.0 Midway between Neutral and Obstructionist
1.0 Perfectly Obstructionist to Wealth Creation
[Rating scale copyright Mike P. McKeever, 2017. Used herein with permission]
RATING SUMMARY - TIM SCHILLER POLICY NUMBER RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE POSSIBLE PERCENTAGE 1 4.8 14.4 15.0 96 % 2 4.9 14.7 15.0 98 3 2.5 7.5 15.0 50 4 4.9 14.7 15.0 98 5 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 6 4.9 14.7 15.0 98 7 4.2 12.6 15.0 84 8 3.5 10.5 15.0 70 9 2.5 7.5 15.0 50 10 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 11 2.5 7.5 15.0 50 12 4.5 9.0 10.0 90 13 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 14 4.9 9.8 10.0 98 15 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 16 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 17 4.2 8.4 10.0 84 18 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 19 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 20 4.8 9.6 10.0 96 21 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 22 2.5 5.0 10.0 50 23 4.9 9.8 10.0 98 24 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 25 2.9 5.8 10.0 58 26 2.6 5.2 10.0 52 27 4.9 9.8 10.0 98 28 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 29 2.8 2.8 5.0 56 30 4.2 4.2 5.0 84 31 4.5 4.5 5.0 90 32 4.0 4.0 5.0 80 33 4.2 4.2 5.0 84 34 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 TOTAL 127.1 275.7 365.0 75.5% ===== ====== ===== =====
INDIVIDUAL POLICIES - TIM SCHILLER
1. Freedom from internal control - 4.8
Citizens of the United State of America are free to move at their own discretion, start businesses at their own discretion, and perform many other activities at their own volition with no government influence. There are often government parameters to business operations, but rarely government blockers to beginning businesses. All individuals are granted the freedom to begin the business they chose, within government determined parameters. http://www.heritage.org/index/country/unitedstates https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/learn-about-business-laws
2. Freedom of Speech - 4.9
?Freedom of speech is protected by the first amendment in the United State of America. This includes freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of petition. This right is heavily defended in the U.S.A. https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech
3. Effective, fair police force - 2.5
Public opinion of the effectiveness and usefulness of policing in the U.S. is at an all-time low. The policing system is large and has proved an ability to prevent criminal activity, but the efficiency of policing often depends on a location’s socio-economic status—i.e. it is not ubiquitously effective and efficient and as a result, is considered unfair.
4. Private Property - 4.9
Real, personal, and intellectual property rights are protected by the federal government in the United States of America. Only in severe cases are individuals rights to their property challenged in the U.S. http://www.heritage.org/index/country/unitedstates http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_E000219
5. Commercial banks - 4.5
? The United States of America has a vast commercial banking system, which is overseen by the Federal Reserve—a nongovernment-affiliated central banking system. Most citizens in the United States of America have checking accounts in commercial banks, money that is used by the banks as investment money in commercial mortgages, small-business, and other enterprises.
6. Communication Systems - 4.9
The United States of America’s communication systems cover close to all the population. Nowhere in the U.S. is without a capacity for wireless internet and phones service. The F.C.C oversees radio, internet, telephone, and satellite operations in the United States, with a mission to make the forms of communication available to everybody in the country.
7. Transportation - 4.2
The United States has few areas inaccessible by more than one method of transportation. It has one of the largest major metropolitan areas (New York City) with, what many groups have ranked, one of the best urban transportation networks in the world. However, most transportation in major urban areas in the United States is considered poor. There are also a handful of countries with far better infrastructure than the United States of America.
http://www.businessinsider.com/wef-countries-best-infrastructure-world-2015-9/#10-spain-2 http://www.immihelp.com/newcomer/publictransport.html http://invorma.com/10-countries-with-the-worlds-best-public-transportation-that-make-you-want-to-move-here/
8. Education - 3.5
Roughly 92%-93% of children in the United States of America are enrolled in public schools, and there are 5.5 Million students enrolled in private secondary schools, put the U.S. total of children in secondary schools close to 100%. However, there are upwards of 11 Million illiterate adults in the U.S. 4 million have language barriers barring them from being determined literate/illiterate, and 7 million scored illiterate on their literacy tests. Also, the U.S. is home to many of the world's best universities.
https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372 https://nces.ed.gov/naal/kf_demographics.asp http://www.capenet.org/facts.html http://www.thebestschools.org/features/100-best-universities-in-world-today/
9. Social Mobility - 2.5
Social mobility is becoming increasingly difficult in the United States of America. More and more children of poor families often stay poor and the high price of education is causing people to pursue careers that do not require a formal education. However, social mobility does exist in the U.S.A. Social mobility is difficult and there is a lot of evidence suggesting that it is unethical systemic issues keeping individuals from social mobility but, social mobility does exist.
10. Freedom from outside control - 4.0
Legal citizens in the United States of America have virtually no reason to fear other countries governments removing them from America. Residents, however, of the United States who are in the U.S.A. illegally, may be deported for various reasons. This causes and increased risk in businesses hiring employees without legal residence.
11. Protection of Domestic Enterprises - 2.5
The trade deficit for the United States of America in its most recent business quarter was -$112.4 Billion dollars. A trade deficit has been normal for many years running in the U.S.A. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/current-account
12. Foreign currency transactions - 4.5
It is not an official law in the United States of America that the American dollar must be used for all transactions. For example, peer to peer transactions can use whatever form of currency the peers decide on (e.g. bitcoin). However, there are many things you can not do in the United States of America without American currency (e.g. open a checkings account). Because more serious exchanges must happen in American currency, monitoring monetary and fiscal policies is effective.
13. Border control - 4.0
The border patrol in the United States of America is highly effective. However, it is not perfect and there is regularly a number of smugglers (of various things), in addition to a larger number of people crossing the border seeking better lives. The ethics of border patrolling and enforcement is heavily debated in the United States of America and there is research that suggests some economies thrive because of illegal immigration and drug smuggling. Since some of the small holes in America’s border patrol might have a positive effect on the economy, the country’s overall score is not as penalized as it might otherwise be.
14. Currency - 4.9
A single currency is used in all 50 states within the United States of America, as well as its territories. The U.S.A. dollar is historically the most valuable dollar in the world. It continues to contend, and at times be the world’s most valuable dollar.
https://www.usa.gov/currency https://www.bloomberg.com/markets/currencies/americas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_dollar
15. Cultural, language homogeneity - 3.0
In terms of ethnic and cultural diversity, the United States of America ranks middle of the pack on global indexes. This, according to the prescribed method of quantifying, means the U.S.A. is relatively homogeneous. However, the U.S.A., historically, has mistreated minority groups and even now, in contemporary times, serious concerns for the peace of minorities exists.
16. Political effectiveness - 4.0
The United States of America's government, overall, does a good job of minimizing the effects of natural disasters as well as terrorist attacks. A simple example of how well the government does at this is the American economy. If natural disaster and terrorist attacks were noticeably affecting the economy, American nominal GDP would, arguably, jolt, dip, or in some way show more instability. However, this does not happen. Events like 9/11 and the 2016 shooting in, Orlando, Florida, happen and affect the stability of business cycles but these types of events are not regular enough and are usually responded to quickly by the United States government. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, oversees how Federal government responses to any given disaster.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/09/are-we-any-safer/492761/ http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/pdfs/chap03/d03-07.pdf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)
17. Institutional stability - 4.2
Institutions in the United States of America are stable. However, the perception of its institutions is changing rapidly. Business owners can still expect Universities to supply them with employees, the courts to give fair trials, and law enforcement to be capable if called upon. But there is concern over the decline in people's trust in schools and government. The less trusted these institutions are the more likely an overhaul of them becomes.
18. Honest government - 4.0
The United States of America is, according to Transparency International’s 2016 corruption perception index, the 18th most corrupt country in the world. It’s overall score of 74 means it is considered “clean,” as opposed to a higher score which would make it “very clean,” and as opposed to a lower score which would move it toward “highly corrupt.” Since business people can tolerate a certain amount of corruption and the United States allows for such corruption, the United States of America's score is high. http://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016
19. Common laws - 2.0
America has the same set of non-conflicting laws for all of its citizens, despite race, class, or other reasons. However, there is heavy evidence that the enforcement of common laws strongly favors the wealthy and certain ethnic groups. That is, in the United States of America the wealthy are less severely punished for crimes than the poor.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/14/politics/affluenza-jenkins-opinion/ https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/do-rich-people-get-off-easier-when-they-break-the-law/comment-page-7/?_r=0 https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/two-in-one-differences-in-the-us-justice-system-for-the-rich-and-the-poor
20. Central bank - 4.8
The United States of America’s central bank is the Federal Reserve System. It sets the fractional reserve requirements for all other banks. The united states government has no influence over the Federal Reserve; it is an operation independent of government influence.
21. Domestic budget management - 2.0
The United States of America’s expenditures regularly exceed its total annual tax revenue. For example, in 2016 the U.S. government collected $3.726 trillion in tax revenue and budgeted $3.999 trillion in spending, 7% more spending than money collected.
https://www.thebalance.com/current-u-s-federal-government-tax-revenue-3305762 http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-spending https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2016-BUD/pdf/BUDGET-2016-BUD.pdf#page=102
22. Government debt - 2.5
As of 2016, the amount of money needed to pay off the United States’ principal debt as well as its interest debt (debt service), both internally (to its public) and externally (to foreign countries), is greater than 100% of if its GDP. Until 2015 the United States debt service, as a percentage of GDP was on average 62%. However, according to the CIA’s world fact book, public debt as a part of America’s GDP is only 74%. But, also according to the CIA, the United States has the largest total External debt in the world, $18 Trillion.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2079rank.html https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2186rank.html http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-debt-to-gdp https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2015/04/24/national-debt-tops-18-trillion-guess-how-much-you-owe/#5761b69e7920
23. Economic statistics - 4.9
Opinion pieces in the United States about the quality of economic data are positive. Economists feel as if they have sufficient data to analyze economic growth and economic indicators. However, there is a gap, a large gap, between the economic policy leanings of the majority and the economic policy leanings of economists. This gap communicates insufficient systems to propagate this data to the masses. Nonetheless, the data is there. https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/09/11/economic-choices-facing-united-states-why-need-new-direction/aQ9Vf5jPS2ee9HZSKNC1sN/story.html http://www.jstor.org/stable/2138187?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
24. Protection of public health and safety - 3.0
The United State has 0.2 deaths from Tuberculosis per 100,000 people every year. This is among the best rates in Western civilizations. However, the United States infant mortality rates are among the worst in western civilizations, it hovers around 6 and 7 percent, while countries like Sweeden and Japan have a 2 percent rate, France has a 3 percent rate, and Australia and the United Kingdom have a 4 percent rate. http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?d=MDG&f=seriesRowID%3a647 http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?d=PopDiv&f=variableID:77
25. High wage policies - 2.9
In the United State, in California’s San Francisco County, one of the nation’s most expensive counties to live in, an average working single adult does not make the living wage amount with a pay rate at the current minimum wage rate. In other words, people can't afford apartments. Since an apartment is not affordable in one of the nation's major metropolitan areas, and owning a refrigerator and affording vacation are out of the question, the United States of America gets a low score.
26. Environmental protection - 2.6
The environmental protection agency in the United States of America oversees the enforcement of environmental legislation. In 2012 there were 44 Million dollars collected in criminal fines and restitution for broken legislation laws. In addition to the 44 Million, there were 208 Million dollars collected from administrative and civil penalties. This communicates a willingness to enforce environmental legislation. The EPA oversees seven major environmental laws: Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), National Environmental Policy Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). These are all initiatives that move toward stewarding the environment well. However, as one of the leading causes of stress on the environment America’s score is low.
27. Strong army - 4.9
America has the largest, or one of, depending on the method of measuring, military presence in the world. It is notorious for its military innovation and advanced technologies. However, there are groups of Americans who feel threatened by outside attackers. So, despite America’s military presence, there is still fear, or, a sensed lack of security, among some citizens. The American government spent 16% of its discretionary and mandatory spending on military in 2016. Another statistic, America spent less than 5% of its GDP on military whereas other countries, like Saudi Arabia, spent as high as 10% of their total GDP on the military. Despite this lingering fear, statistics suggest the United States is safe from outside attack.
28. Foreign trade impact - 4.0
America’s total of imported and exported goods and service in 2016 was 4.951 Trillion dollars. America’s total GDP in 2016 was 18.869 Trillion. This means trade made up 26% of the American economy in 2016. However, at the time of this writing, numbers are not yet finalized and the numbers here are only based on one report. Most likely, that number will rise. Since it’s fairly close to 33% (the suggested trade percentage of GDP), the score is higher. But, not as high as it’d be if trade percentage was in the 30’s.
29. Management of foreign currency budget - 2.8
In 2016 American exports of goods totaled 1.5 Trillion and exports of services totaled 750 Billion. However, imports of goods totaled 2.2 Trillion and imports of services totaled 501 Billion. Because of this big deficit, America’s score on Management of foreign currency budget is low. However, because of the complexity behind the numbers and the complexity of a deficits true multiplied effects, it retains some points.
30. Layers of collective action - 4.2
Almost every American institution is filled with sub-groups, committees, and ways for individuals to practice collective action. Recently, the largest organized collective action in American history took place when people gathered to march in cities across America to show support for Women’s Rights after Donald Trump’s inauguration. There are liberal grassroots movements (an organized group of political peoples in any given district) forming all over the country right now, this is not a new trend but the newest variation of an embedded American cultural pass time: forming organized groups (think Revolutionary War). Universities practice collective action with clubs, sororities, and fraternities. Religious organizations in America often encourage smaller groups of people to get together, groups who meet in homes and at your local Starbucks. Athletic programs exist for all levels of people interested in sports, all of these encourage collective action. In short, everywhere you turn in the United States of America collective action is being encouraged. An important note, America also places a high value on the individual and decisions made out of self-interest—because it is unclear if the cultural narrative on individualism helps or hurts groups formed no points are deducted for this.
http://localgov.fsu.edu/readings_papers/Economic%20Development/joint_venture3.pdf http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/clay-waters/2017/02/20/nyt-celebrates-grass-roots-activism-liberal-protests-smeared-tea https://www.womensmarch.com
31. Pro-business climate - 4.5
Since it’s earliest days, according to Alexis de Tocqueville, Americans have placed a high value on productivity, on acquiring “advantages they do not possess.” This attitude, of restlessness and hard work, has persisted in American culture throughout the last two centuries. To some, this attitude has developed from the protestant faith. Regardless of its origin, American culture highly values business success, and successful business women and men enjoy high social status. Calvin Coolidge, America’s 30th president, famously said, “The chief business of the American people is business.” Jon Jochimowicz, a writer for the Huffington Post, senses this mindset almost 100 years later. Jochimowicz writes how the business women and men of New York City, desiring to be perceived as elite from fellow peers, use small chat to say that they are busy, as opposed to the business women and men Jochimowicz knows in London, who will make small chat about things other than work. This is contemporary cultural evidence of how ingrained the business mindset is in American culture. Because many different cultures are being increasingly represented in America culture, this mindset has started to slacken over the last 5 decades.
https://coolidgefoundation.org/resources/essays-papers-addresses-35/ http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/detoc/ch2_13.htm http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-jachimowicz/being-busy-as-a-status-sy_b_6130220.html
32. Government enterprises - 4.0
There are few businesses completely owned by the American government. The majority of companies that are state-sponsored are companies concerned with Public utilities (e.g. Amtrak). Public utility companies are not prominent enough in the American economy for their government subsidies to threaten the well-being of America’s economic market. However, the American government does give big government subsidies to large corporations (e.g. Boeing, General Motors), as well as some surprising ones (e.g. Abercrombie and Fitch). It is clear this can have a positive impact, this money, after all, is typically used by the businesses as both regular capital and consumer consumption money would be, but it is also evident it can have a negative impact. American GDP has, according to Alan Turner Peacock of Springer Link, who is in favor of state subsidies, benefited greatly from Government money.
33. International security agreements - 4.2
America has long been invested in ethical and international security agreements benefiting many parties. America’s involvement in various treaty creating and overseeing organizations is proof of this; organizations such as The United Nations and The League of Nations. There is strong evidence about the effectiveness of treaties in economic affairs. Because of this evidence and because of America’s involvement in seeking treaties out, to benefit the security of its citizens, and how this affects the security individuals feels when starting a business, International Security Agreements receives a high score. However, because of recent trends toward international unrest, the score is slightly reduced.
34. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs - 3.7.
Costs and regulations imposed on companies in America are, usually, done so responsively, out of a desire to protect public health, the environment, and to sustain long-term growth. They are not initiated to disadvantage the efforts of American businesses. That is, they are not malicious to the efforts of enterprises. Some studies suggest regulations provide a necessary framework for long-term growth and claim data shows a correlation between certain regulations and enterprise growth.
Though the argument can be made for how government mandated costs can, at times, benefit businesses, most studies suggest both job loss and higher costs from imposed government regulations. Despite America having some regulation, a business owner, who understands no regulations are imposed maliciously and the ones imposed are there only for her or his business’s long-term benefit, would seldom be deterred from starting a business, given the abundant free market values governing the American economy. Regulations, overall, do not deter a business from starting, though they may cause hesitation, and sometimes play a role in some people’s livelihoods making them capable (time, money, and labor abuse laws) of starting a business.
UNITED STATES - KAIDEN MCALLISTER
RATING SUMMARY - KAIDEN MCALLISTER POLICY NUMBER RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE POSSIBLE PERCENTAGE 1 4.8 14.4 15.0 96 % 2 4.8 14.4 15.0 96 3 2.5 7.5 15.0 50 4 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 5 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 6 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 7 4.7 14.1 15.0 94 8 3.0 9.0 15.0 60 9 2.5 7.5 15.0 50 10 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 11 2.0 6.0 15.0 60 12 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 13 2.5 7.0 10.0 70 14 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 15 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 16 3.7 7.4 10.0 74 17 4.5 9.0 10.0 90 18 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 19 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 20 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 21 2.5 5.0 10.0 50 22 1.0 2.0 10.0 20 23 4.5 9.0 10.0 90 24 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 25 2.5 5.0 10.0 50 26 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 27 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 28 4.3 8.6 10.0 86 29 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 30 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 31 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 32 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 33 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 34 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 TOTAL 126.3 276.4 365.0 75.7% ===== ====== ===== =====
INDIVIDUAL POLICIES - KAIDEN MCALLISTER
1. Freedom from internal control – 4.8
Citizens in the United States are free to engage in any activity that is not prohibited by law, and face no hindrance in doing so. There are incredibly few circumstances in which this may be limited, such as in obtaining a federal license and/or permit for one's business for the sale of alcohol or firearms. This freedom of movement is vital to the economic prosperity of the country, as it eliminates the concern of any movement barriers in participating in legal lucrative activities.
2. Freedom of speech – 4.8
Freedom of Speech in the United States is one of the most important aspects of American culture, and is the first Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. The first Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and expression, protecting their right to express their views, and forbids Congress from restricting the rights of individuals to speak freely. The first Amendment also guarantees citizens the right to peacefully petition the government. There have been events in the past where the Supreme Court has had difficulty defining exactly what is protected under the first Amendment, however these cases have been few and far between, and have not resulted in any major breaching of the first Amendment thus-far.
3. Effective, fair police force – 2.5
According to crime statistics in 2015, there were an estimated 1.2 million violent crimes committed across the U.S., according to the FBI. Additionally, according to a Gallup poll in 2016, only 29% of black citizens in America have a great deal of confidence in police, while 58% of white citizens hold the same view. This data suggests that there is at least a negative public perception by minorities on the fairness of police towards minorities.
The large number of crimes committed leaves room for improvement, but the negative view on police fairness is very concerning, as it suggests that there is distrust from members of the minority population of the U.S., which can negatively impact the likelihood that minorities start up new businesses and enterprises.
4. Private property – 5.0
The protection of private property is incredibly important in the United States. The 4th Amendment in the Constitution emphasizes this, outlining that private property is to be protected against unlawful searches and seizures by both government and other individuals. This extends to intellectual property as well by U.S. copyright law. Anyone found copying work that has been copyrighted can be sued by the copyright holder.
This protection of private property contributes to the country's economic prosperity. In protecting private property, individuals have an incentive to innovate, as they can do so in the confidence that their resources and ideas are protected under the law.
5. Commercial banks – 4.0
Commercial banks in the U.S. provide a multitude of financial business services, including providing loans, and altogether hold over $16 trillion in total assets. To make sure that the commercial banking system remains stable and is working in an efficient manner, commercial banks are regulated by the federal reserve using a number of different measures, such as the CCAR exercise which is used to assess whether some of the largest banking companies in the U.S. can continue operations under stressful economic and financial conditions. Additionally, data is released by the federal reserve every Friday which outlines the assets and liabilities of commercial banks in the U.S. to monitor them appropriately.
The financial services provided by commercial banks in the U.S. are incredibly important to the economic growth of the country. It is also very important that this system be as stable as possible, to be able to predict and prevent economic crisis'.
6. Communication systems – 4.5
Communication facilities are plentiful in the United States, with 382 million cell phones, 121 million telephones, and 118.4 million televisions across the country, as well as 74.6% percent of the population having internet access. Internet access is especially beneficial, as it acts as a method of communication which can also provide access to other forms of communication, such as online publications of newspapers and magazines. Having plentiful methods of communication is very valuable to the economic growth of a country, as it allows for the increased exchanging of information and ideas.
7. Transportation – 4.7
Transportation in the United States is incredibly well developed, with a wide variety of transportation options being available depending on location. In 2010, the U.S. had over 15,000 airports, out of 43,982 in the world. Additionally, in 2014 over 10.8 billion trips had been taken on U.S. public transportation. With the high availability of transportation, commercial activity is greatly improved. This greatly contributes to the well-being of the economy.
https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/docs/2015%20NTST.pdf http://chartsbin.com/view/1395 http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2015/Pages/150309_Ridership.aspx
8. Education – 3.0
According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2015, 88.4% of Americans have graduated high school, while 58.9% have some college education or more, and 12% have an advanced degree. However, according to a report released by the OECD in 2015, which measures the test scores of 15-year-olds in 72 countries, the U.S. ranked 35th in math, 24th in reading, and 25th in science. And yet, 6 out of the top 10 world renowned universities are based in the United States. This suggests that the United States excels in higher education, but struggles below that.
While the U.S. may excel in higher education, only 12% of the population have an advanced degree, which has room for improvement. Similarly, while 88.4% may have graduated high school, the U.S. has significant room for improvement in the quality of education at this level. A quality education is necessary to effectively compete against other countries in a global economy.
http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-worldwide-ranking-of-math-science-reading-skills-2016-12 https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p20-578.pdf https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2017/world-ranking#!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats
9. Social Mobility – 2.5
Research suggests that having personal connections when applying for a job can boost your chances of being successfully hired by 2.6-6.6 percent. This has a negative impact, as it undermines the significance of having the proper qualifications for a job, and instead gives an advantage to individuals whom share the same or similar social class as the employer. There is also research suggesting that in education, the achievement gap between students from high-income families and low-income families is widening. This suggests that the same resources are not available to members of the lower classes.
The ability of each individual person in any group in society to advance in earning capacity is critical to wealth creation; barriers to such advancement reduce the society's capacity to create wealth. Jobs in all public sectors must be earned by ability and not given to cronies. Additionally, the education system should provide access by all persons to the tools needed by individuals from deprived backgrounds to join the more elite classes.
https://www.glassdoor.com/research/studies/interview-sources/ https://cepa.stanford.edu/content/widening-academic-achievement-gap-between-rich-and-poor-new-evidence-and-possible https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=NCEE20174008 https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/07/social-mobility-america/491240/
10. Freedom from outside control – 5.0
Everyone currently within the U.S. is subject to U.S. laws, including those who arrive on a visa or green card. No other country has any control over the United States or its citizens currently residing within, making it completely independent. This independence is beneficial to the economic prosperity of the United States, as it provides a degree of stability and efficiency to businesses and consumers by requiring them to account only for U.S. laws.
11. Protection of Domestic Enterprises – 2.0
The United States is one of the richest countries in the world, ranked at #13 when measuring by GDP per capita according to Business Insider. Currently, the U.S. has free trade agreements with over 20 countries. In March of 2017, the goods and services deficit was $43.7 billion, with $191 billion gained in exports and $234.7 billion lost in imports. What this data suggests is that U.S. industries are unable to compete with foreign industries. Because of these free trade agreements, it becomes considerably cheaper for U.S. businesses to outsource their labor to countries with lower minimum wages and work safety regulations, leaving many Americans out of a job. Because of how dismally domestic enterprises have been protected as a result of these decisions, this policy receives a low score.
https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements http://www.businessinsider.com/the-richest-countries-in-the-world-2017-3 https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/2017/trad0317.htm
12. Foreign currency transactions – 5.0
The United States Dollar is the standard currency used throughout the country. It is the only legal tender accepted for debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign currency must be exchanged for USD before purchases can be made in the United States. Because transactions within the U.S. are conducted using a single, official currency, government fiscal and monetary policies are effective. Therefore, this policy receives a high score.
13. Border control – 2.5
According to a publication in 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security, it is estimated that 11.4 million illegal immigrants were residing in the United States, out of a population of 314.1 million. Of these 11.4 million, over 50% were estimated to have originated from Mexico, which is right next to the United States. This strongly suggests that border control between the U.S. and Mexico is weak. This also does not account for how many illegal immigrants originating from other countries have made use of the weak border control between Mexico and the U.S.
While the border may be weak and in need of improved defense, according to the numbers listed only about 3.6% of the population are illegal immigrants. The weak border security could potentially lead to greater problems if it is not addressed, however as it stands it appears to have only a moderate impact. For this reason, this score recieves a 2.5.
14. Currency – 5.0
The United States Dollar (USD) is the official currency of the United States, and is much preferred over alternative, foreign currencies. It is the only government-approved currency issued in the country. The nationwide usage of this single currency simplifies and streamlines transactions, allowing for commerce to be conducted efficiently.
15. Cultural, language homogeneity – 4.0
The United States is well known for being an incredibly diverse country. However, while many individuals may hold different cultural backgrounds, one of the most important aspects of American culture are its values. Equality is a core American value, where no matter what background someone may have, they are to be treated as an equal in society. This is observed in the Declaration of Independence, where it is outlined that “all men are created equal” with “all men” being a euphamism for “humanity”.
Diversity is both a strength and a weakness in America. While everyone may have varying cultural backgrounds, American values teach that everyone can come to face and accept their differences in culture, and work together on common goals while still taking pride in their heritage. However, greater costs could be attributed to this diversity, as only about 80% of the population speaks English. Resources must then be allocated to accomodate for non-English language use.
https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/immigration-and-migration/essays/history-times-nation-immigrants https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/creating-the-united-states/interactives/declaration-of-independence/equal/index.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4092008/
16. Political effectiveness – 3.7
In the United States, the political system in place is designed to allow for the creation and enforcement of laws on a state and local level, so long as there are no conflicts with federal law. While this can lead to problems regarding uniformity in punishment across states, it acts as an effective tool for both urban and rural areas to develop measures to deal with local issues. By not having to wait for laws to be acknowledged and addressed at a federal level, a considerable amount of time is saved. Additionally, the president may enact executive orders, which hold similar power to federal law, that can then aid in responding to a crisis such as a natural disaster.
While political effectiveness has been questionable in the past, such as in the dealings of Hurricane Katrina, it has shown signs of improvement. There was ample criticism of the response to Hurricane Katrina due to political ineffectiveness, which led to reform and preparedness in responding to similar events in the future. The effects of this reform can be observed in the response to Hurrcane Sandy, which was responded to more efficiently. However, there is still room for improvement.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlevi https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/executive-orders-101-what-are-they-and-how-do-presidents-use-them http://hurricanekatrina.web.unc.edu/politics-after-katrina/ https://www.csis.org/analysis/hurricane-sandy-evaluating-response-one-year-later
17. Institutional stability – 4.5
Institutions within the United States have remained considerably stable over the years. Within the government, there are term limits for certain positions which can make things somewhat unstable due to changes in leadership, however the potential destabilization is mitigated in severity due to the checks and balances in place to ensure that the political system runs effectively. The most notable of these checks and balances are the Constitution and the three branches of government. Outside of government, these term limits do not apply, which allows for increased stability in other institutions such as schools, courts, and businesses, as well as others.
18. Honest government – 3.0
In a poll conducted in 2017 by Pew Research Center, only 20% of Americans trust the federal government. This distrust in government can lead to reduced economic growth, as citizens will have less confidence in making investments and other economic decisions. However, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index in 2016, the United States ranked 18 out of 176 for least corrupt countries, scoring a 74 out of 100. This suggests that while American trust in government may be incredibly low, it is not necessarily representative of the actual degree of corruption in the United States.
http://www.people-press.org/2017/05/03/public-trust-in-government-1958-2017/ https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/the-economic-impact-of-distrust http://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016
19. Common laws – 2.0
In the United States, there are three different types of laws: Federal laws, state laws, and local laws. Federal laws apply throughout the entire country, state laws are designed by and for each individual state, and local laws are laws designed by and for specific cities, counties, townships, etc. when they have been delegated lawmaking powers by the state. Federal laws overrule state laws, and state laws overrule local laws. This system is not equally fair in all parts of the country, as state laws may differ between states, resulting in varying degrees of punishment for the same crime. For instance: in Arizona, possession of less than 2 lbs of Marijuana is treated as a felony and punishable with up to 2 years in prison, whereas in California, possession of 28.5 grams or more is treated as a misdemeanor and punishable with up to 6 months in prison. This means I could be in possession of far more than 2 pounds and still only get a maximum sentence of 6 months if I was in California.
Additionally, under the current justice system, the wealthy hold an advantage over the poor in what rights they can take advantage of that the poor simply cannot. Two major examples of this are in the ability to post bail and being able to afford a private lawyer. Hiring a private lawyer has significant advantages over being appointed a public defender, as a public defender cannot be chosen by the client, typically have large caseloads, and have limited time available to meet with their client and prepare their case. This imbalance in power is quite plutocratic in nature, and does not represent the interests of the majority.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlevi http://norml.org/laws/item/arizona-penalties http://norml.org/laws/item/california-penalties https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/two-in-one-differences-in-the-us-justice-system-for-the-rich-and-the-poor https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31757
20. Central bank – 4.0
The central bank of the United States is the Federal Reserve, whose primary goal is to promote the growth and stability of the United States economy. The Federal Reserve has a number of tools to assist in implementing and enforcing economic policies, such as Reserve Requirements, which requires banks and other depository institutions to hold a percentage of cash deposited while the rest may be used for loans and other purposes. This tool alone grants the Federal Reserve incredible power over the economy, as the amount designated by the Reserve Requirement is used in calculating the Deposit Multiplier.
While the Federal Reserve's goal is to produce the most good for the economy and has effective means of managing commercial banks and monetary policy, it is not completely independent of political control. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve are appointed by the President with consent of the Senate, and may hold their positions for a maximum of 14 years. The president also reserves the right to remove board members from their positions, however this must only be done “for cause”. This political control is a detriment to potential economic growth, as the appointment of board members may be biased based upon the political alignment of both the appointee and appointer, rather than experience.
https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed.htm https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/policytools.htm https://www.federalreserve.gov/supervisionreg/legal-developments.htm https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/files/pf_3.pdf https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/section10.htm
21. Domestic budget management – 2.5
In 2016, the fiscal budget of the United States had revenues of $3,266.8 billion and outlays of $3,854.1 billion, resulting in a $587.3 billion deficit, which is an increase from the 2015 deficit of $438.5 billion. This deficit accounts for 15.2% of the budget. The fiscal budget has been in a continuous deficit since 2002, however the deficit each year has not been consistently increasing.
https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/recurringdata/51134-2017-01-historicalbudgetdata.xlsx (Note: link will download an Excel spreadsheet.) https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2017-TAB/pdf/BUDGET-2017-TAB.pdf
22. Government debt – 1.0
The current public debt of the United States is 105% of the country's GDP. Debt of this magnitude is incredibly harmful to the United States economy, as money that would otherwise be spent on wealth creating activities must instead be used to pay back this debt. This debt is also showing no signs of declining.
For this score to begin to improve, debt as a percentage of GDP would need to show signs of a decline to represent that there is progress being made to reduce debt. This would not greatly improve the score, but it would bump it up somewhat. The main boost to this score would come with debt levels becoming lower than 50% of the GDP. This still wouldn't necessarily warrant a positive score, but at 50% the debt would no longer be considered excessive. From this point the score would steadily increase as debt levels reach a lower percentage of GDP.
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GFDEGDQ188S https://www.bea.gov/national/xls/gdplev.xls (Note: This page will download an excel spreadsheet)
23. Economic statistics – 4.5
The United States has a tremendous amount of statistics and data documented and published online. Much of this data is collected and published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Census Bureau, and Economics and Statistics Administration, which are all bureaus under the United States Department of Commerce. These bureaus are specifically designed to collect and publish any relevant data accurately. Were any inaccurate information to be published, it would quickly be brought to light as any independent observers would have access to the information published and be able to post their findings online. As of now, there have been minimal concerns with the accuracy of the data published.
https://www.bea.gov/ https://www.bls.gov/home.htm https://www.census.gov/econ/
24. Protection of public health and safety – 4.0
There are multiple federally-funded agencies tasked with the protection of public health and safety in the United States. These agencies have proven to be relatively effective, as can be seen by analyzing worldwide health standards. For example, as of 2016 the United States ranked 57th in countries with the lowest infant mortality rate, at 5.8 per 1000 live births. Monaco is currently ranked 1st with an infant mortality rate of 1.8 per 1000 live births, while Afghanistan is ranked 225th with an infant mortality rate of 112.8 per 1000 live births. This data suggests that the United States is significantly closer to the highest world standards than it is the lowest, and thus recieves a good score.
https://www.hhs.gov/about/agencies/hhs-agencies-and-offices/index.html https://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sconcerns/health/hel2.htm https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html
25. High wage policies – 2.5
There is currently a federal minimum wage of $7.25 in the United States. The problem with the federal minimum wage is that the cost of living varies depending on where in the United States a citizen lives, meaning that this may not be enough to afford basic living necessities in certain locations. However, the ineffectiveness of the federal minimum wage is somewhat mitigated by local government, which allows for cities and states to set their own minimum wage should the federal minimum wage be insufficient in covering the cost of living for certain locations. Due to the wage policies and cost of living varying by location, this results in some areas having effective wage policies, and some not.
26. Environmental protection – 5.0
The United States has created an agency called the Environmental Protection Agency specifically to protect the environment within the United States from pollution. The EPA has proven effective in taking a number of measures to protect the environment, including enforcing federal laws protecting human health and the environment, providing information on managing human health and environmental risks, giving grants to encourage adopting and maintaining eco-friendly policies, and much more.
The EPA also works to provide suggestions and feedback to congress in the development of environmental laws, and funds considerable research in environmental studies. This gives the EPA the information it needs to understand exactly what the best actions to take are in protecting the environment of the United States, and the ability to use that information effectively in conjunction with congress to develop effective laws and policies regarding management and care for the environment. Studies have been conducted on federal laws enforced by the EPA, such as the Clean Air Act, which prove that the act is being enforced by the EPA and has a positive impact on the United States economy, with benefits exceeding the costs by a factor of 30 to 1.
https://www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview/benefits-and-costs-clean-air-act-1990-2020-report-documents-and-graphics https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/our-mission-and-what-we-do https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa https://www.epa.gov/research
27. Strong army – 5.0
The United States has the greatest military expidenture in the entire world. According to a report in 2014, the United states was ranked No. 1 as the country with the most military spending, having spent more than the next 7 greatest spending countries combined, and almost three times as much as China, which ranked No. 2 in military spending. This assures the protection of the country against a considerable number potential threats, as it would take a tremendous force to compete with the United States military.
With regards to what perecnt of the domestic budget military spending makes up, 53.71% of federal discretionary spending is budgeted towards military. However, when factored in with mandatory federal spending and interest on debt, military spending makes up only 15.88% of all federal spending, making the cost lower than one-third of the domestic budget.
28. Foreign trade impact – 4.3
The United States GDP is 28% comprised of foreign trade. Imports of goods and services make up aproximately 15.45% of the GDP, while exports of goods and services make up just over 12.55% of the GDP.
Because almost a third of the United States GDP is comprised of foreign trade, it is neither too vulnerable to outside forces, nor losing a considerable amount of wealth for its citizens through lack of trade. For these reasons, this policy gets a good score.
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.TRD.GNFS.ZS?locations=US http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.IMP.GNFS.ZS?locations=US http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.EXP.GNFS.ZS?locations=US
29. Management of foreign currency budget – 2.0
The United States has a considerable imbalance in its management of foreign currency. Specifically, the United States is facing a large deficit in foreign currencies. Far more money is being spent on imports than is being earned through exports, creating a massive imbalance between the two. In January of 2017 alone, there was a deficit of $48 billion in foreign trade. In total, the gross external debt in foreign currency as of September of 2016 lies at just over $1 trillion.
30. Layers of collective action – 5.0
The Constitution of the United States puts incredible emphasis on the importance of American citizens' right to vote, and this isn't just limited to federal elections. Powers not bestowed upon the federal government are reserved for the state and the people, and every state must uphold a “republican form” of government, as stated in the U.S. Constitution and the Tenth Amendment.
“Republican form” of government refers to every state government being based upon republican principles, including consent of the governed. This creates a massive collection of locally elected governing bodies not dependant on the central government, which gives citizens power and freedom to elect whoever they deem most fit. Holding local elections grants citizens a voice in how their local communities develop, creating motivation to maintain a healthy, positive community. In the event that it is unsure whether a state's government is upholding these republican principles, Congress will hold a ruling on the matter. If a state is found to have a non-republican form of government, both Congress and the President are to enforce these rules.
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/48/1.html https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/state-and-local-government https://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/html/art4frag16_user.html
31. Pro business climate – 5.0
The United States places a very high value on business and entrepreneurship. There are a plethora of federal incentives available to assist in the development and expansion of businesses, including grants, loans, resource centers, tax credits/deductions, and more. Social status in American culture is also greatly influenced by income and occupation, favoring those with wealth and high positions in business.
All of these factors place an incredible value on business and entrepreneurship. With so many benefits provided to assist in establishing a business and the high social regard that comes with it, there is substantial motivation to work towards becoming an enterprise leader.
https://www.selectusa.gov/federal_incentives Gilbert, Dennis L. The American Class Structure in an Age of Growing Inequality. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publ., 1998. Print.
32. Government enterprises – 2.0
The United States Federal Government issues tens of billions of dollars in subsidies annually, a number of which are through poorly implemented programs. A number of these subsidy programs are a clear act of government interference in the free market. The Agricultural industry contains good examples of this, such as the Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs, which pay farmers when their revenue per acre falls below a certain benchmark or the national price of certain crops falls below the crop's reference price.
Programs such as these reduce pressure for innovation in this industry, and cost American tax payers as well. For these reasons, this policy recieves a low score.
33. International security agreements – 5.0
The United States has several collective defense treaties with over 4 dozen different countries altogether. Most notable of these are the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Rio treaty, which consist of 27 and 21 countries respectively, not counting the United States. These treaties and the nations they consist of are a testament to the significant defense the United States has in the event of an armed threat.
The security added by these treaties acts as an additional layer of defense in protecting the economic interests of businesses. This acts as an incentive to create and maintain a business in the United States, as the threat of a military attack that may harm the business or employees is virtually nonexistent.
34. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs – 2.0
Domestic enterprises in the United States are subject to a number of costs that aren't imposed in a number of countries. Two prime examples include the OSHA regulations & the FLSA. On top of this, tariffs on imports are incredibly low, with the United States having a trade-weighted average import tariff rate of 2.0 percent on industrial goods, which make up approximately 96% of U.S. imports.
These factors can make it more profitable for a business to outsource their work to foreign countries not maintaining the same standards on labor, reducing the opportunity for new jobs to develop in the United States. As a result, it is possible for the U.S. GDP to be negatively impacted by these conditions.
https://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html https://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/ https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/industry-manufacturing/industrial-tariffs
UNITED STATES - JACKSON MORGAN
RATING SUMMARY - JACKSON MORGAN POLICY NUMBER RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE POSSIBLE PERCENTAGE 1 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 % 2 4.8 14.4 15.0 96 3 2.5 7.5 15.0 50 4 4.7 14.1 15.0 94 5 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 6 4.8 14.4 15.0 96 7 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 8 3.0 9.0 15.0 60 9 1.8 5.4 15.0 36 10 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 11 2.0 6.0 15.0 60 12 4.9 9.8 10.0 98 13 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 14 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 15 1.0 2.0 10.0 20 16 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 17 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 18 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 19 2.5 5.0 10.0 50 20 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 21 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 22 1.5 3.0 10.0 30 23 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 24 4.5 9.0 10.0 90 25 1.8 3.6 10.0 36 26 2.2 4.4 10.0 44 27 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 28 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 29 3.0 3.0 5.0 60 30 4.0 4.0 5.0 80 31 3.0 3.0 5.0 60 32 4.5 4.5 5.0 90 33 4.0 4.0 5.0 80 34 2.8 2.8 5.0 56 TOTAL 118.8 258.4 365.0 70.8% ===== ====== ===== =====
INDIVIDUAL POLICIES - JACKSON MORGAN
1. Freedom From Internal Control - 4.5
In the US Constitution the Privileges and Immunities clause states: "the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states." This clause guarantees the free passage of US citizens to all states within the country’s borders. However, for corporations or LLC’s, doing business ‘domestically’ only applies to activities within your state’s borders. To engage in out of state business requires registration for foreign qualification which requires you pay fees and taxes to each state in which you operate and follow the laws and regulations of that state. There are some businesses, for example health insurance, which can only offer services to those in their home state. There are though, no laws which prohibit citizens from starting a business in whichever state they choose as long as they file the proper permits.
Although it is difficult to do so in some countries, Americans are free to travel abroad as they wish. Travel to Cuba was illegal for many decades but has recently been legalized. In many countries no visa is required for Americans to visit, and in most countries there is an American embassy.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/privileges_and_immunities_clause https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/learn-about-business-laws http://www.bizfilings.com/learn/doing-business-other-states.aspx https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html
2. Freedom of Speech - 4.8
The first amendment of the US constitution grants freedom of speech, religion, and peaceful protest. Americans may enjoy more freedom of speech than other nations, but there are interpretations to the first amendment that can stifle wealth creation as well as a few exceptions to the amendment which promote it.
The right to peaceful protest is effective in giving a voice to the population, but protests and demonstrations often shut down public transportation, highways, and the streets of cities financial centers. Hate speech is also protected that spreads racism, sexism, and heterosexism which blocks many workers from the workforce, students from schools, and consumers from markets. One exception to the first amendment in the US that promotes economic growth is the prevention of plagiarism of copyrighted material and the legislative protection of trade secrets. These protections defend american businesses and promote growth.
3. Effective, Fair Police Force - 2.5
A recent survey cited by the Federal Bureau of Investigations claims that, “only 56 percent of people rated the police as having a high or very high ethical standard as compared with 84 percent for nurses.” Public distrust coupled with a perceived racial bias make it more difficult for American police to fairly and effectively perform their duties. The New York Times reports that in the city of Chicago while blacks and hispanics make up one third of the city’s population that are accountable for seventy-four percent of the people shot by police between 2008 and 2015. Races singled out by the police face a decrease in upward social mobility.
The United States touts the highest incarceration rate in the world. Over two million american citizens are currently behind bars and one in five are incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses. The percentage of blacks in incarceration is more than three times higher than the percentage of black in the general population while the percentage of whites in incarceration is thirty nine percent less than the percentage of whites in the general population. Mass incarceration costs the taxpayers and denies millions of americans the opportunity to contribute to the economy.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=kfdetail&iid=493 https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/us/chicago-police-dept-plagued-by-systemic-racism-task-force-finds.html?_r=0 https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2016.html
4. Private Property - 4.7
Calvin Coolidge the thirtieth president of the United States said that “Ultimately, property rights and personal rights are the same thing.” In America the owner of property has the right to determine however that property is used, He or she is able to make contracts to rent, sell, or give away all or part of his or her property. Local, state, and federal government are not allowed to set aside private land for public use or rezone a property in a way that decreases its value or makes it more difficult to sell. To enter a privately owned property, the city, state, or federal government must obtain permission from the property owner or a warrant from a court of justice, this right is defined in the fourth amendment.
Zoning laws and building codes differ from county to county. Explodedhome.com describes zoning laws as a balancing act between property rights and government oversight. Rural areas in the middle of the country often have little or no zoning laws while more urban communities on the coasts have much more regulation. States like California are known to have excessive zoning and building restrictions which many argue make it difficult to build or do anything on your property.
5. Commercial Banks - 5.0
The top ten commercial banks in the United States hold over ten trillion dollars in assets. The three largest banks in the US are JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.
Commercial banks have undergone much growth since their origins and many have come and gone in the past century. In the year 1820 the assets of commercial banks in the US equaled about half of the country’s aggregate output, a figure that most countries had not achieved by the 1990’s. Strong banks are critical in providing businesses with the funds needed to operate and grow. Because of the crucial role the commercial banking sector plays in the stability of the economy the US government highly regulates commercial banks more so than investment banks or credit unions.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco commercial banks in the US are far less centralized than their european counterparts. In 1999 the ratio of the assets of the top five banks to the entire market in the US was 26.6%, compared to Canada:77.1%, France:70.2%, and Switzerland:57.8%.
http://www.frbsf.org/education/publications/doctor-econ/2002/april/us-banking-system-foreign/ http://www.bankrate.com/finance/banking/americas-biggest-banks-1.aspx https://eh.net/encyclopedia/origins-of-commercial-banking-in-the-united-states-1781-1830/ http://www.investopedia.com/university/banking-system/banking-system12.asp
6. Communication Systems - 4.8
The top three newspapers in the United States are: USA Today, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The Newspaper Association of America reported industry revenues of 37.6 billion. Radio reaches 54% of Americans daily and radio revenues are 18.9 billion. Television reaches 75% of Americans daily and TV generates 217.9 billion in revenue. The united states postal service operated on 68.8 billion dollars in 2015. The post office, the newspaper, and the landline telephone, which have been important communication systems in the past, are becoming more irrelevant with the rise of smartphone use and popularity. News, radio, TV, mail, and telephone use are each accessible today through a single smartphone device.
Around 40% of the world’s population has internet access. In the United States this figure is 88.5%. 64% of Americans own smartphones, up from 35% in 2011, and 7% of those with smartphones have no other source of internet connection. The booming smartphone, internet and social media world markets are dominated by American companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook who benefit from the growth of the industry. Smartphones make phone calls and access the internet via service providers using communication satellites. There are currently 324 US communications satellites in Earth’s orbit.
Everyone can talk to anyone in the US, which greatly benefits the economy compared to countries with less communications capabilities.
http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users-by-country/ http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users-by-country/ http://www.journalism.org/2016/06/15/newspapers-fact-sheet/ https://www.statista.com/statistics/243875/revenue-of-the-tv-industry-in-the-us-by-source/ https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/size-scope.htm http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/ http://satellites.findthedata.com/
7. Transportation - 4.0
In 1869 the transcontinental railroad was completed in Utah. This was the first railroad connecting the east and west coast. Its completion brought in a new era of freight travel and major economic boom. Today the rail system in the US has expanded greatly since the 1800’s. Together trains trucks and planes carried over one trillion dollars of goods in trade with US neighbors Mexico and Canada in 2016. Railroads are by no means obsolete, but their importance today is eclipsed by that of flight. In 2016 US carriers transported 36 billion revenue ton-miles of cargo (one ton of goods one mile), and carried 821 million passengers.
The main mode of transportation in the US is the automobile. There are 218 million licensed drivers in the country about two thirds of the population that together drive an average of over a million miles on highways each day. Public transportation in the US is subpar in comparison to its European counterparts. In the US 80% of trips are taken by car compared to less than half in Europe. The US is also behind many other developed countries in Asia and Europe that have high-speed rail systems. Plans to build high-speed rail in California are underway but construction is years away and funding is not yet secure. As of today there is no high-speed rail system in the US.
http://railroad.lindahall.org/essays/brief-history.html https://www.transportation.gov/railroads https://www.transtats.bts.gov https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2015/ http://www.hsr.ca.gov/
8. Education - 3.0
Up until college parents in the US have the option to enroll their children in public or private school. The student teacher ratios is on average 16.1 in public and 12.2 in private school. Parents also have the option to homeschool their children. Pew research finds that the US stands in the middle of the pack in terms of reading writing and math abilities.
15 out of 20 of the world’s top universities according to the ‘Tines Higher Education’ are in the United States, among them are Stanford, MIT, and Harvard. In 2015, 91% of 25 to 29 year olds had a high school diploma and 46% had a Associates degree or higher. The percentage who had completed a masters degree or higher was 9%. Each of these percentages has increased from where they were ten years before. In the last ten years the importance of a college degree has increased but also has the cost. Adjusted for inflation the average cost of tuition for a four year degree has more than doubled since 1995. This rise of enrollment along with rising cost has resulted in a massive student debt among young Americans totalling an estimated $1.31 trillion.
The enrollment rate in the US in 2015 was 85.7%, slighly less than the 88% in Canada, more than the 56% in the UK, and more than double the world enrollment ratio of 34%.
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2017/world-ranking#survey-answer https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/ http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.TER.ENRR http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science/
9. Social Mobility - 1.8
Upward social mobility is more difficult in the US than in other wealthy countries. One of the reasons for this is because the difference between the upper class and lower class income in the country is so large. Income inequality has been growing in the past decades and continues to climb. A study cited by npr finds that, “an American born at the bottom has about an 8 percent chance of rising to the top, it found; the odds are twice that in Denmark.” And it is not just Denmark, children growing up in Canada are twice as likely to realize the ‘American Dream’ than their American neighbors. Unfortunately, in the US whether or not you grow up rich or poor greatly depends on whether or not your parents and your grandparents were. Comedian George Carlin says, “It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
10. Freedom From Outside Control - 5.0
The US is known for following international laws only when it is convenient for them to do so. There are cases when a US citizen breaks a law in another country that is also a law domestically and the citizen in question is extradited. There are also such cases where the US will not uphold their extradition agreement with another country for political reasons. Laws in other countries that are violated on US soil by US citizens do not apply to US courts. In a case in 2000 a French judge required the website Yahoo to block French citizens from buying nazi memorabilia on their website. After a US court ruling, the chief counsel of Yahoo stated, “today the judge basically said it was not consistent with the laws of the united states for another nation to regulate speech for a u.s. resident within the united states.”
11. Protection of Domestic Enterprise - 2.0
Many US industries are protected by tariffs, most of them are agricultural, like corn, peanuts, and most vegetables. The US auto industry which employs thousands of Americans is protected with tariffs on auto parts and trucks. There is a 350% tariff on foreign tobacco, which benefits American tobacco farmers. Many though, including the newly elected president believe that American unemployment is the result of jobs moving overseas producing cheap low-wage imports. The 48.5 billion trade deficit gives some validity to this claim. While jobs in agriculture are protected, well paying manufacturing jobs are scarce in the US. Good manufactured in the US are of better quality and are protected by domestic intellectual property laws, but are too expensive for US consumers as a result of high labor costs.
Corporate taxes in the US are higher than all of the country's’ trading partners. This discourages investment in the country and encourages US corporations to operate outside the border where they can write off their overseas income on their taxes.
http://www.nytimes.com/1982/02/01/opinion/l-us-markets-need-protection-not-free-trade-157863.html http://www.businessinsider.com/americas-biggest-tariffs-2010-9?op=1/#n-specific-dairy-products-20-tariff-on-imports-1 http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/how-does-tax-system-affect-us-competitiveness
12. Foreign Currency Transactions - 4.9
There are no businesses in the US that accept any currency but the US dollar. The US dollar is the only legal tender in the country. Most banks in the country will exchange foreign currency at a posted exchange rate. If a purchase is made with a bank or credit card that linked to a foreign account the currency is exchanged into US dollars automatically and vice-versa.
Although it is not a nationally recognized currency, the cryptocurrency bitcoin is accepted in some US stores. The government is wary of the growing popularity of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies which are useful to black markets for their impossibility to trace. Bitcoin also threatens the US’s ability to control world markets with the power of the US dollar.
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/foreign-transaction-vs-currency-conversion-fees-difference/ http://spendbitcoins.com/places/ http://www.newsweek.com/2016/12/23/virtual-currencies-bitcoin-being-monitored-us-government-532063.html
13. Border Control - 3.0
Over the past 24 year the number of US border patrol agents has increased 500%. The US currently spends 1.5 billion a year securing its borders and ports. The current president campaigned on a pledge to build a massive wall across the southern border, though there are as of now no plans in place to do so. In 2014 there were an estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, the majority of them were Mexican. The government is divided among those who wish to find and deport undocumented immigrants and those who want to grant them a path to citizenship.
Despite the efforts of the government to secure the southern border there are still many illegal immigrants who find their way through, and will continue to as long as the comparative standards of living in the US and Mexico stay the same. Because of the American ‘War on Drugs’ there is also a huge financial incentive to smuggle drugs into the country. The US government budgets 2.1 billion annually on the Drug Enforcement Agency to combat the inflow of illegal drugs, but with so much demand it is impossible stop it entirely.
https://www.justice.gov/jmd/file/822096/download http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/trump-s-wall-would-add-billions-u-s-spends-border-n640251 http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/02/what-we-know-about-illegal-immigration-from-mexico/
14. Currency - 5.0
In 1971 the United stated completely abandoned the gold standard, leaving the US dollar to be backed by nothing more in the confidence people had in it. Today the US dollar is the closest thing to a world currency. Most international transaction are carried out in dollars. 65% of all US bills are in use outside of the country. International banks have a large need for US dollars on-hand. Needless to say, transactions inside the US take place only in US dollars except those that use cryptocurrencies discussed in the previous section. The strength and wide use of US dollars make US monetary policy influential and effective both domestically and abroad.
15. Cultural and Language Homogeneity - 1.0
The United States is one of few countries that does not have an official language. Many cultures which are common in some states and cities are hardly represented in others. Also some cities and states, like those along the coasts, are far more culturally diverse than others, mainly inland. English is most commonly spoken but 21% of Americans speak another language at home. The majority race in the country is white (of european descent). Still around half of whites surveyed by Pew Research said that they believed race relations in the country were poor. This percentage was considerably higher for minority blacks and hispanics. The division among different cultural groups in the US has a direct effect on the essential economic question, who gets what? Pew research finds that the median household wealth for whites is $114,200, while for black households it is $11,200. Income inequality is detrimental toward wealth creation, and when wealth is divided unevenly among different cultural groups conflict is inevitable. The price on a business of not including all races and genders is the opportunity cost of their work. Many white men in the US hold jobs because they are white men and not necessarily the best and most productive candidate for the job
16. Political Effectiveness - 2.0
A Gallup poll found in 2002 that 23% of Americans were dissatisfied with the way their government worked, in the same poll the percentage climbed to 65% in 2014. The US government runs on a two party system, Democrats and Republicans. Divisions among them are deep and the balance of power between them is on average even. This results in a political deadlock. Businesses are caught in between this divide. Democrats tend to favor regulation while Republicans tend to favor a more laissez-faire approach. The strong opinions of each party and the hatred each have for the other make it near impossible to work together or agree on legislative course of action. This is why polls find low countrywide approval rating for congress. The first US president George Washington warned against the two party system. He felt that each party would do whatever it took to claim power to the detriment of the people. Certainly Americans today are facing what Washington had warned of.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/166985/dissatisfied-gov-system-works.aspx http://www.npr.org/2011/12/27/144319863/congress-really-is-as-bad-as-you-think-scholars-say http://www.commdiginews.com/history-and-holidays/george-washington-warning-america-against-political-parties-63046/
17. Institutional Stability - 5.0
Minus the US civil war 150 years ago, the US has had one continuous government in power since its founding. Ratified in 1789 the US constitution is still today’s supreme law. The federal court system developed in the same year created the court system to uphold the constitution, although slightly amended by congress over time, is still mainly intact today. Around the 1880’s all major municipalities in the US had organized police forces, backed by the government.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/constitution http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/court-role-and-structure https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/judiciary.html http://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/history-policing-united-states-part-1
18. Honest Government - 3.0
Transparency International releases annual reports which rate world governments on a corruption scale. In their 2016 report the US scored a 74 (0-highly corrupt, 100-very clean). The US ranked as the 18th least corrupt government in the world. These findings however are not reflected by Americans citizen’s views of their government. A gallup poll finds that three in four Americans perceive widespread corruption in the US government. The US has a strong freedom of the press which helps keep the government in check but also through exposing politicians, reduces citizens confidence in their government.
While actual government corruption would stifle business growth, the perception of it alone may discourage wealth creation in the country.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/185759/widespread-government-corruption.aspx http://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016 https://usa.usembassy.de/media-freedom.htm
19. Common Laws - 2.5
Officially, laws in the US apply equally for all citizens, but there are many cracks in the US common law system. Blacks, for example, are more likely to go to jail for drug charges and more likely to get the death penalty for murder charges than whites. US Judges tend to rule in favor of higher class white-collar criminals and against lower class blue-collar criminals. Citizens were outraged after the 2008 financial crises when only one top banker was sentenced to jail time. While the upper class can afford expensive legal representation and can use letters on their behalf for other respected high society individuals, those who cannot afford private counsel are less likely to see positive outcomes represented by an overworked public defender.
http://ejusa.org/learn/fairness/ https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/the-challenge-of-sentencing-white-collar-defendants/?_r=0 https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/magazine/only-one-top-banker-jail-financial-crisis.html http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/osjcl/Articles/Volume3_1/Commentary/Hoffman_3-1.pdf
20. Central Bank - 4.0
The Federal Reserve System, founded by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. There are 12 federal reserve banks which serve their respective districts and the chair in Washington DC is currently headed by Janet Yellen whose economic philosophy is centered around reducing unemployment. Although The Fed is subject to oversight from congress it is otherwise independent from the government. The chairs are appointed for fourteen year terms separating them from political cycles. The Independance of the Fed allows it to accomplish long term economic goals.
21. Domestic Budget Management - 2.0
Since 1970, with the exception of four years 1997-2000, the US government has had a budget deficit year. The average yearly deficit for this time period is 3.4% of GDP. The peak of this deficit was during the 2009 financial crises where 700 billion was spent to bail out US banks. Since the budget is constantly unbalanced toward deficit the country scores low for budget management.
22. Government Debt - 1.5
In the last thirty years the US government debt has skyrocketed. As a percentage of GDP the national debt is approaching 100% and is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to reach 150% by the year 2050, well surpassing the most debt the US has ever held during world war two. The 19.8 trillion owed by the federal government amounts to 210 thousand per american citizen. About half of the debt is owed to foreign investors and governments, and about a third is owed to government agencies like social security and other retirement funds. All payment made on this massive and growing debt will negatively affect US wealth creation for the distant future.
https://www.cbo.gov/ http://www.usdebtclock.org/ https://www.thebalance.com/who-owns-the-u-s-national-debt-3306124
23. Economic Statistics - 5.0
Economic statistics in the US are plentiful. They come from many respected and credible sources. There is the US department of Commerce which heads the Bureau of Economic analysis who calculates the country’s gross domestic product. The Department of labor which heads the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who calculate productivity, price index, and unemployment statistics. The Department of the Treasury which compiles quarterly economic data tables. The US Census Bureau which calculates the nation's population and demographics. The Federal Reserve Bank which publishes economic research papers. And the CIA World Factbook which collects and compiles data from every country in the world. The overabundance of statistics in the US makes it possible for investors and entrepreneurs to confidently invest in the economy with little risk.
https://www.bea.gov/ https://www.bls.gov/ https://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx https://www.federalreserve.gov/ https://www.census.gov/ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
24. Protection of public health and safety - 4.5
The US has a low infant mortality rate, 4.8 per 1,000 born. This is 169th of the 225 countries in the CIA world factbook. In the past one hundred years the US life expectancy has risen from 47.3 to 78.74 years, 42nd in the world according to the CIA. According to the CDC one-third of the world’s population are infected with tuberculosis. In 2016 there were only 9,287 new cases of TB and 67.9% of the cases occurred in foreign born citizens.
The top two causes of death in the US are heart disease and cancer. The National Institutes for Health spend over 10 billion a year on research for both diseases.
Restaurants in the US are subject to regular health inspections issued by their city or county. The USDA food safety and inspection service ensures that the nation's commercial meat and poultry is safe to eat and properly labelled.
The Center for Disease Control, whose annual budget tops 6 billion dollars, controls outbreaks, and seeks to minimize the spread of diseases like the zika, and ebola viruses.
https://www.cdc.gov/budget/documents/fy2016/fy-2016-cdc-operating-plan.pdf https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/informational/aboutfsis https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6611a2.htm?s_cid=mm6611a2_w
25. High Wage Policies - 1.8
The Economic Policy Institute maintains that the average wage for the vast majority of American workers has stagnated or declined since the 1970’s as income inequality has risen. This is due to, among other things, low minimum wage, lack of collective bargaining rights, and out of date unemployment rules. Since 2009 the federal minimum wage has been $7.25. The inception of the minimum wage in America was in 1938. The first minimum wage was 25 cents or $4.19 in today's dollars. It peaked in 1968 at $1.60 or $10.86 in today’s dollars. Today minimum wage is 25% less than what it once was. The median income in the US today is $55,775. This is barely enough to afford to live in the countries largest cities with little left over for savings and discretionary consumption.
http://www.epi.org/pay-agenda/ http://money.cnn.com/interactive/economy/minimum-wage-since-1938/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gobankingrates/how-much-money-you-need-t_b_9728876.html
26. Environmental Protection 2.2
The US Environmental Protection Agency currently has an annual budget of 8.1 billion dollars and over 15,000 employees. It creates regulations and sets standards that each state is expected to meet. If a state cannot meet a given standard, the EPA works with that state in order to meet the requirement. The EPA also works with companies to communicate regulations and ensure compliance.
Despite the best efforts of the EPA there are still high levels of pollution in the country. The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2016 study found that although air quality has steadily improved since 2012, more than half the US population, 166 million people, still live in counties with unhealthy levels of air pollutants. The EPA reports that more than half of the rivers and streams in the country are too polluted to support healthy aquatic life. And the US has a massive littering problem. The country spends 11.5 billion annually to clean up litter, half of which is cigarette butts that are toxic to the soil.
https://www.epa.gov/ http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/key-findings/ https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/03/half-all-us-rivers-are-too-polluted-our-health/316027/ http://www.litteritcostsyou.org/9-interesting-facts-and-statistics-about-littering/
27. Strong Army - 4.0
In the year 2016, US defense spending as a percentage of GDP was 3.1%. Defense spending as a percentage of total federal spending was 14.3%. Both percentages are the lowest they have been in 60 years. Still the US spends more on its military than the next seven countries combined. It is highly unlikely for any businessman to not want to set up shop inside US borders out of concern that a warzone may break out. Many Americans make the argument that the US has an unnecessarily strong army, that the massive size of the military is a misallocation of resources. Also the United States has a history of involving its military in long and expensive conflicts that many of its citizens view as unnecessary. From 2001 to 2016 the US has spent an estimated 4.79 trillion dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq, most of which was borrowed from other countries.
28. Foreign Trade Impact - 4.0
Imports and exports accounted for 28% of America’s GDP in 2015. This percentage is a good balance and allows the US not to be affected too much by outside forces while reaping economic benefits of trade with other nations. This percentage, however, has steadily increased from about ten percent in the 1960’s as the world economy has globalized. If the trend continues the US economy could become overly dependant on imports and exports and therefore vulnerable to changes in outside economies.
29. Foreign Currency Budget - 3.0
The United States has been in a trade deficit since 1975. As of January 2017 the deficit stands at 48.5 billion and has grown slightly over the past three years. Most exports are services and agricultural goods, and most imports are manufactured goods. When imports outnumber exports, the difference is subtracted from GDP, and less GDP then leads to lead to less employment. The trade deficit also makes the US economy more dependent on other countries. Imports, however, are not as detrimental to society as they are made out to be by US politicians. They allow Americans to purchase goods they otherwise would have not been able to, and they increase the purchasing power of the American consumer. Although the US could benefit from the added GDP and employment an increase in exports would create, the total trade of 3.3 trillion in 2016 merits a decent score.
https://www.uschamber.com/international/international-policy/benefits-international-trade-0 https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/top/top1611yr.html https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-the-us-balance-of-trade-1147456
30. Layers of Collective Action - 4.0
In the US there are many volunteer groups, which benefit local communities. The Bureau of Labor statistics finds that in the year 2015, 62.6 million people volunteered in a community group, with a median of 52 participation hours of community involvement.
The problems of collective action were first theorized by American economist Mancur Olsen in 1965. He argued that any group of people with a common goal would face difficulty determining how to achieve it and would not be able to evenly work towards it. Also such a group would be unable to determine what size it should be in order to tackle whatever problem optimally. The US government solves the collective action problem similar to most other developed countries. Its layers of government are federal, state and local. Many politicians in the federal government use the term ‘state’s rights’ referring to the idea that each state should have the right to make its own laws and decisions. This hands off approach by the central government is helpful because it allows laws to be made more locally and can be tailored more to the benefit of businesses within a given state’s borders.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/collective-action-problem-1917157 https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/state-and-local-government https://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.nr0.htm
31. Pro-Business Climate - 3.0
The United States recently ranked 23rd on Forbes Magazine’s ‘Best Countries for Business’ list, behind Canada, UK, New Zealand, and many other Scandinavian countries. One of the reasons this low ranking is that US businesses find it harder to enter foreign markets than it is for foreign businesses to enter US markets.
Many Americans believe that their income taxes should be abolished, and that government revenues should come solely from corporate profits, but many economists feel the opposite way. Their argument, in short, is that taxing business discourages or stifles it. To merit a five out of five on the measure of pro-business climate the United States would have to abolish all taxes on businesses and instead tax only income and consumption. Taxing businesses owners for investing their profits back into their business does not incentivise them to do so, while only taxing them to take money out of their business as income would disincentivize them from doing so. Taxes on businesses and corporations also have many loopholes which kill off companies which do not exploit them and reward those that do. Many companies in an effort to avoid taxation move to other countries or domestically to other states that make it easier for them to operate.
32. Government Enterprise - 4.5
Officially the United States seeks to, “establish disciplines to encourage SOEs to operate in markets in a transparent manner that does not distort trade or put our companies at a disadvantage.” (ustr.gov). This means setting the standard for developing countries through transparency.
The two most well known government sponsored enterprises which also contribute to wealth creation in the US are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These GSE’s provide liquidity to mortgage lenders through buying and either holding their loans or selling them in packages known as Mortgage Backed Securities. This provides the original mortgage lender with the funds to make more loans, and also encourages investing in the secondary mortgage market by assuring timely payment of principals. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also provide stability to the mortgage market and protect housing in the country.
Another of the most crucial government enterprises is the Federal Student Aid program. Subsidized by the Department of Education, the FSA provides loans to lower income students who in many cases would not receive them otherwise, sometimes at zero percent interest. This provides greater educational opportunities to the population and boosts the country's human capital.
There are, though, very few state-owned enterprises in the US. While in many industrialized countries most utilities and basic industries are state-owned, in the US they are almost entirely privately-owned. The Harvard Business review writes “In the late 1970s, nearly 7% of employees in other developed market economies worked in state-owned enterprises; the comparable figure for the United States was less than 2%.” This lack of burden on the Treasury to subsidize SOE’s contributes to the high score given for this policy.
https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership-t-tip/t-tip-11 https://www.fhfa.gov/SupervisionRegulation/FannieMaeandFreddieMac/Pages/About-Fannie-Mae---Freddie-Mac.aspx https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action https://hbr.org/1991/11/does-privatization-serve-the-public-interest
33. International Security Agreements - 4.0
In the year 1949, in response to the threat of the growing Soviet Union , the United States and eleven other nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Today the military alliance contains 28 member countries. Article five of the Washington Treaty, NATO’s founding document, states that an attack on one is an attack on all. Although many perceive NATO to be the world's strongest alliance, in the year 2015 only five of the 28 members reached its target of 2% of GDP devoted to defense.
The United States signed the Rio Treaty in 1947 with 21 South and Central American countries to consider an attack on one an attack on all in the Americas. The US also has treaties with Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, and Japan. It has strategic military bases on both Japan and the Philippine islands which are key to containing China and its territorial ambitions in the region.
These treaties do go both ways though, under present conditions the US is legally obligated to defend roughly 25% of the world population.
http://www.nato.int/nato-welcome/index.html http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31503859 https://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/collectivedefense/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/05/30/map-the-u-s-is-bound-by-treaties-to-defend-a-quarter-of-humanity/?utm_term=.1361b74ad08d
34. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs - 2.8
According to a paper sponsored by the US Small Business Administration, the total cost of all federal regulations in the year 2008 was 1,752 billion and the portion affecting businesses was 970 billion. This results in American businesses sharing 55% of the total cost of federal regulation. Because of this statistic the US merits a score of 2.25 out of five (45%of 5). Too many costs to businesses ultimately reduce profits and discourage business activity, this is particularly true for small businesses.
It is arguable that many government regulations create positive outcomes for people and businesses. Antitrust laws enacted in the early twentieth century promote free and fair competition, and environmental regulations reduce negative externalities like air pollution. A recall of produce mandated by the FDA may cost a farm a lot of money but it is better for society and for that matter, wealth creation, that consumers are not dying from e coli. Being that many costs forced on the business sector promote public good the original score of 2.25 is raised to 2.75.
UNITED STATES - RICO JAIME Jr.
RATING SUMMARY - RICO JAIME Jr. POLICY NUMBER RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE POSSIBLE PERCENTAGE 1 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 % 2 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 3 2.0 6.0 15.0 40 4 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 5 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 6 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 7 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 8 2.0 6.0 15.0 40 9 2.0 6.0 15.0 40 10 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 11 2.0 6.0 15.0 60 12 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 13 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 14 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 15 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 16 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 17 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 18 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 19 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 20 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 21 1.5 3.0 10.0 30 22 1.0 2.0 10.0 20 23 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 24 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 25 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 26 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 27 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 28 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 29 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 30 4.0 4.0 5.0 80 31 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 32 3.0 3.0 5.0 60 33 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 34 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 TOTAL 120.5 260.0 365.0 71.2% ===== ====== ===== =====
INDIVIDUAL POLICIES - RICO JAIME Jr.
1. Freedom from internal control 5.0
Within america, entrepreneurs are free to do as they please with their business as long as their business is legal, and contains the correct permits. A business owner can move around worry free as long as they don’t break any laws in doing so.
2. Freedom of speech 5.0
America’s first amendment is freedom of speech, allowing anyone to speak their mind and hold protests/petition without being put down(unless they’re inciting violence). Generally hate speech is a taboo but if wanted people are able to speak their opinions to the general public. There’s numerous conspiracies stating that the government hushes up any secrets that are bad for their image and in some cases small governments may have, but the general public is safe to say whatever they want.
3. Effective, fair police force 2.0
The police force in america is a foe to be feared with. They often do their job of protecting us from danger but more often than not theirs slip ups. The police force has been know for using excessive force when not needed and for hushing things that may hurt their character. Not all officers are corrupt but a good amount fail under stress and hold their own prejudice. In some parts of the U.S there's a higher concentration of prejudiced cops but overall the cops within america aren’t doing the best. Minorities are often the target of such prejudice and excessive force, so to the average white male the police aren’t a threat. Part of the blame for faulty cops is the training they undergo to become part of the force. Police training in america tends to be around 20 weeks while other countries such as Germany spend a full 130 weeks training their force.
4. Private property 4.0
In america we have the constitution which are the absolute laws of our country. The fourth amendment states “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...” meaning that all personal property and your person is protected from search unless a warrant is presented with permission to do so, or one would have probable cause. If one wanted to protect an idea, then they could protect their work from being stolen with a trademark, copyright, or a patent. This protects from others copying their products, reselling, or creating one from scratch.
5. Commercial banks 4.0
Commercial banks perform loans and can hold money for citizens in a checking and/or savings account. Every bank is regulated by federal and state governments to keep banks in balance if they were ever to find trouble. Individuals are able to take loans from both large and small banks of their choice based on competing interest rates. Any individual can get a loan as long as their credit checks out and/or they have collateral.
6. Communication systems 5.0
In today’s time, nearly everyone has progressed to faster communication whether it be through internet, landline, or satellites. Roughly 64% of americans have access own a cellphone which is helpful for calling, texting, and communicating through various social medias. Newspaper companies are still very active today with big names like USA today, and the New York times selling all across the nation for major news coverage. Most cities and counties usually have their own newspaper companies for more local news. If reading isn’t your style there is many radio stations and public tv channels that cover local, national, and even international news in different languages so everyone can be kept up to date.
7. Transportation 4.0
Transportation is readily available to many individuals within urban and suburban areas. We have private bus companies such as greyhound and amtrak that can take people to major cities and smaller cities along the way, we have about 378 commercial airports where citizens can take planes to other US states, cities, and territories. In suburban cities they have local transportation usually on a fixed schedule that isn’t too frequent but in major cities such as Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, there’s many means of transportation from subways to busses on a frequent basis for the general public.
8. Education 2.0
America is the bully on the playground. America spends all of its attention on military and becoming a stronger country that it sacrifices its educational system in the process. Our education system tests our kids in a process of elimination style that limits our critical thinking. This leads the US to score poorly in rankings towards other countries. In a survey of 38 countries; in mathematics we rank 32, 20 for science, and 17 for reading. Among college completion, we rank 12th. American college has become extremely expensive over the past 30 years, with an astounding 1,120 percent increase in prices compared today compared to 1978. The costs of tuition, housing, textbooks, and courses are staggering to the average american student and often leads the student in debt. Compared to the European countries like Finland, our education system looks sloppily put together. In Finland students are taught social skills, and academic goals before building on subjects. Teachers also hold a higher position than they do in the US, every teacher must have a masters degree and even after that only 10% of college graduates are accepted into the teaching training program. None of these things are practiced within the US. The US can learn a couple things from rival countries.
https://data.oecd.org/united-states.htm http://www.valuecolleges.com/collegecosts/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/cost-of-college-degree-increase-12-fold-1120-percent-bloomberg_n_1783700.html http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/u-s-students-compare/
9. Social Mobility 2.0
America has historically been a place where hard work can make anyone successful but we’ve strayed from this idea. It’s true to some degree that hard work and determination can get you anywhere but there’s a lot of luck involved. For an individual who lives in poverty it’s a lot harder to move up the social class ladder. Someone who’s born within the upper class and middle class likely will stay within that class because of the advantages/disadvantages they have. A person within the two higher classes are more likely to have access to the better educational facilities and health care, with a comfortable lifestyle. Families in the lower class often take the worst of the available facilities living a financially unstable lifestyle. Even with the lower class lifestyle, individuals are still able to find success, it’s just a lot harder than someone from the higher two classes.
10. Freedom from outside control 5.0
Citizens within the US can live worry free due to us having the strongest military in the world. If one was to visit another country and their from the US they would also not have to worry too much because of our vast foreign relation agreements.
11. Protection of Domestic Enterprises 2.0
For the year of 2016 the US has imported $2.21 trillion worth of items while exporting a total of 1.47 trillion. This leaves us at a deficit of 74 billion. We have free trade agreements with many countries which probably will stay for a while based on our history of importing things. This is bad for us industries trying to compete with other countries, because they have lower working wages and conditions in countries such as China making their products cheaper to produce than it would be for a similar product here in the US.
12. Foreign currency transactions 5.0
Any transaction within US soil has to be made with American USD. Any attempt with other currency would be denied. One must convert their currency to USD in order to purchase anything within the US.
13. Border control 5.0
Historically our country has always been suspicious of neighboring countries, but ever since the tragedy of 9/11, more fuel has been added to our paranoia adding further security and regulations for incoming people. Now with the nut we have for a leader, his paranoia knows no bounds and with him our regulations are sure to increase with his already controversial muslim ban.
14. Currency 5.0
Within the US we use the same currency to purchase everything. It’s universal and incredibly difficult to replicate. We use the dollar bill which comes in units of $1, $5, $10, $20, and $50. We also have divided units of the bill in the form of coins, we have a penny($1/100), a nickel($1/20), a dime($1/10), and a quarter($1/4).
15. Cultural, language homogeneity 4.0
A majority of the United States speaks english (80%) while the following largest language spoken is Spanish(12.4%). A majority of the country's population are white(61%) followed by hispanic(17%) then Black(12%) then Asian(5%). The rest are those of native american and pacific island descent. We receive a high score because both our language and majority race stagger over the others.
16. Political effectiveness 4.0
After 9/11 the homeland security was created to help people affected in such catastrophes. They provide response and recovery, disaster assistance, and they also plan and prepare for disasters. Since their creation they’ve helped americans from events such as hurricane katrina, sandy, and the flint water crisis. They try their best to help those in need but often further help is needed such as the flint water crisis. Their tap water is still corrupted after about 3 years and their solution isn’t the best.
17. Institutional stability 4.0
Our nation was based off the constitution created in 1787. We still hold these rules overall, if any government laws interfere with these laws, then they’re immediately denied. No laws can change the constitution and the only way to change a current law on there is to make a new a amendment to cancel out one of the last such as with the prohibition problem. We have schools open to the public ran and funded by the government so everyone can pursue an education.
18. Honest government 2.0
According to transparency.org, our country is the 18th most corrupt with a score of 74 as of 2016. Our average score for the last few years being 75, our country seems to stay at this spot, however we recently elected a new leader who’s significantly different from the last. Politicians are known sometimes for hushing laws so corporations can operate how they want but with a leader who’s known for his “business” skills, and his ignorance, anything but good can happen. I expect a higher score of corruption for the following years.
19. Common laws 2.0
Every state, city and county follow federal laws but also have their own laws that follow within the boundaries of said federal laws. Everyone is supposedly given an equal and fair chance in law but that is not necessarily true here. People with greater wealth can usually buy the greater lawyer who’s used to finding loopholes, manipulation, and able to work their way around to win the case. In some parts of the U.S, even with a clear case and a good lawyer, one can lose based on biases such as race. Such cases of bias and buying a better lawyer are the George Zimmerman case and the OJ simpson case.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_of_George_Zimmerman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O._J._Simpson_murder_case
20. Central bank 4.0
Recently the U.S had a housing bubble collapse in 2008 which caused the US to interfere so we didn’t have too big of a recession. The commercials banks now have more regulations placed on them and are better watched, while the federal reserve now has an increased budget to help alleviate any problems we may come across in the future.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_System https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/about_12594.htm https://www.federalreserve.gov/data.htm
21. Domestic budget management Expenditure 1.5
Over the past four years, the US has constantly spent above 100% of its total tax revenue with 2013 being its peak with about 22% over. As for the other years it hasn’t been too much over 10% with 15% being the most. This policy gets a low score because the us government has consistently spent over 10% of its total expenditures but a majority of it goes to healthcare and military spending.
https://www.thebalance.com/current-u-s-federal-government-tax-revenue-3305762 https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/spending/ http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_spending_chart
22. Government debt 1.0
America has always been known for being in debt. As of 2016 our debt reached 19.5 trillion, 1 trillion more than our total GDP.
According to the policy, debt is considered excessive when over 50%. Our country is excessively in debt.
23. Economic statistics 4.0
In our current technological world, the internet allows us to numerous sources with a simple search in Google. Our own government puts out information via the Bureau of Economic Analysis or the census. Businesses can trust these sources because they’re created by teams within the government that hold no bias whatsoever towards these businesses. It’s simply their job to gather information and try to predict the future using correlation. https://www.bea.gov/index.htm
24. Protection of public health and safety 4.0
The United states infant mortality rates is slightly higher than other industrialised countries but is justified because our birth rate is higher than the countries with lower infant mortality. Our tuberculosis rates are also lower than other industrialized countries having so few as 3 out of every 100,00, compared to the UK and Japan having 10 out of every 100,00.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2054rank.html https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/syst em/uploads/attachment_data/file/581013/WHO_estimates_of_tuberculosis_incidence_by_country__2015.pdf https://www.infoplease.com/world/health-and-social-statistics/infant-mortality-rates-countries
25. High wage policies 2.0
The national minimum wage for the U.S is $7.25 an hour. This is enough to feed you and barely live in a house, but definitely not enough to do much more. Certain places within the U.S are more expensive to live in than others so states implement their own minimum wage with the current highest being the District of Columbia at $11.50 an hour. Beyond that local governments within the City can raise the wage such as in San Francisco with $13 an hour, almost double the national wage. Even with these wages set in place, the cost of living can be expensive and the current minimum wage can barely support a person.
26 Environmental protection 3.0
The environmental protection agency strives to make the US an eco friendly place, and has many regulations and agreements set with major corporations. These regulations are successful within the U.S but some companies move to other countries to bypass some regulations. Other than that the U.S is on the right track and successful with bettering the environment. President Obama tried to set the US on a forward path with the environment as one of his top priorities, however with our new president things don’t look very secure for the future. President Trump doesn’t believe in climate change or environmental health, as does many high position leaders in his cabinet. This policy is getting a neutral rating because there’s lots of individuals who care about the environment within the United States.
27. Strong army 5.0
The united states spends a majority of its money on the military, so much that its the number one military power of the world. The second highest country, China almost spends half of its budget at 215 billion, and the third country with the highest military spending being Saudi Arabia barely spending 1/7 of the U.S’s budget at 87.2 billion. With a government spending 3 times the amount of healthcare and education spending combined on military power, we should feel safe from foreign attacks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/spending/
28. Foreign trade impact 4.0
For the year of 2016, the total GDP was roughly 18.56 trillion. Exports were estimated to be 1.47 trillion while imports were 2.21 million. Meaning they accounted for about 20% of total GDP which is less than a third of total GDP giving it a high score.
29. Management of foreign currency budget 2.0
The U.S is constantly importing from countries such as China and the phillipines bc it's cheaper to produce goods there. This makes it easier for us to focus on military strength. Since 1992 our balance has been negative and since 2004 it's never reached below negative 500 billion for the year. The trades are far from equilibrium between exports and imports.
30. Layers of collective action 4.0
Every city/county/state has their own local government where every citizen can actively vote and everyone gets an equal say in what is going on around them. The only reason this isn’t getting a 5 is because some local governments can be corrupt/harm you without your consent as in the case of the flint water crisis. They made a decision to save money and in cost ruined the entire water system for the city.
31. Pro-business climate 5.0
The U.S is a place where people gather around to have a new start and find new riches. Making money has become a top priority to almost everyone in the U.S and one of the easiest ways is through business and marketing. Successful Entrepreneurs are treated with respect and are seen as smart and determined. Such aspiration made business and marketing the number one major in the U.S for the past couple years.
32. Government enterprises 3.0
A majority of subsidies go to leading businesses in the farming, oil, and energy industries. These subsidies help maintain the wellbeing of the companies ensuring that they don’t crash. Each of these companies play critical roles in America.Farming helps keep everyone fed and healthy, energy industries help keep a constant source of energy while striving for renewable and alternative sources, and the oil industry helps keep the U.S running. This policy neither hurts nor harms new businesses, it’s just to keep societies key companies running. The rating is neutral because it doesn’t hurt your business if it's not in these fields of work, it’s just a bit of government regulation to keep society working.
33. International security agreements 5.0
The united states is a country so fixated on military strength that they cut funding on public education, health care, and space research. Government spending is taken up mostly on the funding of military weapons, training, and weapon development. The united states is the number one country in military spending. With that we better have protection and safety to expand our business within our country and be expected to be protected.
34. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs 2.0
A majority of businesses within the U.S are those of small businesses. 60% of these small businesses make an annual income of under $75,000 a year. A company in the US is taxed on its net income for the year. The more money the company makes the more taxes it has to pay. This can be harmful for small businesses because it makes it harder to make a profit. This makes it harder for companies to grow. As for big businesses this policy doesn’t hurt them as much as it does to small businesses trying to grow. Overall this policy hurts businesses starting off and can be detrimental in their starting, but once they grow bigger it shouldn’t hurt them too much.
UNITED STATES - ERIC VORHEES
RATING SUMMARY - ERIC VORHEES POLICY NUMBER RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE POSSIBLE PERCENTAGE 1 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 % 2 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 3 2.5 7.5 15.0 50 4 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 5 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 6 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 7 3.5 10.5 15.0 70 8 2.0 6.0 15.0 40 9 2.0 6.0 15.0 40 10 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 11 2.0 6.0 15.0 60 12 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 13 2.5 5.0 10.0 50 14 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 15 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 16 3.5 7.0 10.0 70 17 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 18 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 19 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 20 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 21 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 22 1.0 2.0 10.0 20 23 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 24 3.5 7.0 10.0 70 25 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 26 2.5 5.0 10.0 50 27 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 28 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 29 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 30 2.5 2.5 5.0 50 31 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 32 3.0 3.0 5.0 60 33 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 34 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 TOTAL 115.5 251.5 365.0 68.9% ===== ====== ===== =====
INDIVIDUAL POLICIES - ERIC VORHEES
1) Freedom from internal control- 5.0
American citizens pride themselves on freedom. The constitution guarantees American citizen certain unalienable rights. These include: the right to freedom of religion, speech, and press; the right the bear arms; protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; the rights to life, liberty, property; the rights given to accused persons in criminal cases; rights in civil cases; and more. All of these guarantee Americans are free from internal control. Citizens are free to move about the country as they wish. Citizens do not need a passport to travel from one state to the next. The United States federal courts protects these freedoms on a daily basis. These freedoms allow citizens to have more opportunities in all aspects of life.
2) Freedom of speech- 5.0
The first amendment of the United States Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”. The constitution is the base of American law and cannot be overruled. This creates an environment in which ideas can be expressed freely, which circulates ideas and creates jobs.
3) Effective, fair police force- 2.5
Police in The United States are becoming a topic of debate among main stream media. Main stream media creates controversy in order to draw viewership. One topic that gets viewers is police brutality. The number of arrest related deaths and misconduct has stayed relatively the same over the years, yet, due to the media, seem to be more prevalent. Due to technology, and the increase in information available, citizens understand the manner in which the police conduct themselves. Due to the tight bond and responsibility police officers share they often cover up each others flaws. This negatively impacts the freedoms of citizens, as well as the relationship citizens have with the police. Police generally are effective and fair, but instances in which they are not are often covered up, which can lead to more abuse of power in the future.
https://www.policemisconduct.net/2010-npmsrp-police-misconduct-statistical-report/ https://transformingthesystem.org/criminal-justice-policy-solutions/create-fair-and-effective-policing-practices/ https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=71
4) Private property- 4.0
The fifth amendment in the United State’s Constitutions states: “no person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property”. This amendment guarantees all citizens the inalienable right to own and protect private property. American Capitalism succeeds because all property is connected to the economy via the documentation. This allows property to be used as collateral for credit. In turn credit is used to fund new businesses, which stimulate the economy. If not for collateral the American system would not lend the money, which is the foundation for growth within the American economy. When some property, such as homes or cars, are bought or sold they must be registered. This current system is faulty, and, as a result, it is often hard to tell who owns certain items unless there is proof of sale or payment attached to said item.
5) Commercial banks- 4.0
In March, 2017 commercial banks in the United States loaned over $2 trillion in commercial and industrial loans. In November of 2016 commercial banks loaned a record high $2.1 trillion in commercial and industrial loans. In the fourth quarter of 2015 commercial banks loaned almost 75% of the total value of loans. The top five banks in America, JP Morgan; Chase; Wells Fargo; Citigroup; and Bank of America, have all been lending at extraordinary rates despite regulations that raise lending standards. These standards stop banks from lending to more risky, young companies. As a result small businesses can still find it difficult to find willing lenders. The money banks have loaned has created jobs and boosted the United State economy.
http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/13/investing/bank-business-lending-dodd-frank-trump/ https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/BUSLOANS https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/ESFNQ
6) Communication systems- 5.0
The United States has a tremendous communication network. The United States has 382.307 million mobile telephones. As of July, 2015 there were 119 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. This ranks America 5th in mobile telephones. The United States also has four TV networks broadcast across the nation, as well as limited public broadcasting networks. In addition there are also a number of satellite and cable networks. As of July, 2015 there 74.6% of the population used the internet. This ranks America 3rd in the world. The United States also has the National Communications System to protect communication systems in case of emergency. All of these combine to introduce new business ideas and create business opportunities.
7) Transportation- 3.5
The United States has a thorough transportation system. In 2014 the United States had: over 4 million miles of highway; 93,000 miles of highway; 21,000 miles of amtrak rails; almost 8,000 miles in commuter rails; 1,622 miles of heavy rails; 1,877 miles of light rail; and 25,000 miles of navigable channels. The United States also had 19,299 airports and over 4,000 miles of public streets and roads. These numbers are large, but the United States in a large place. Only 5% of Americans report using public transport most days. 61% of Americans report that they have never used public transportation. The United States public transportation system is great at transporting people, goods, and anything else to major cities, but lacks the structure required to transport people within cities. Americans can easily use the public roads to transport good, people, or anything else, but many American cities lack bus or train systems.
http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/32383-why-public-transportation-is-so-limited-in-the-united-states https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_04.html https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_03.html
8) Education- 2.0
Pearson, a worldwide education organization, ranks the United States 14th in the world in education. This is behind smaller countries such as Poland and Denmark. According to the Program for International Student Assessment the United States in ranked 24th in high school literacy. This is behind countries such as Vietnam. According the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study the United States is 6th in fourth grade reading, and according to Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study the United States in 11th in fourth grade math. All of these statistics demonstrate the the United States education system is incredible poor compared to other industrialized countries. In Fall 2016 there were over 50 million students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, and 20.5 million students enrolled in colleges. This means students make up more than 20% of the United States 321,000 citizens. In 2011 the United States had 91.88% of school aged citizens enrolled in school. This ranks the United States at 108th in this category. Other developed nation such Japan, Canada, Iran, and the Netherlands all have over 99.65%. This shows the low education standards in the United States.
https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372 https://rankingamerica.wordpress.com/category/education/ https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/pisa2012/pisa2012highlights_5a.asp http://thelearningcurve.pearson.com/index/index-comparison/2014-highest http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Education/School-enrollment%2C-primary/%25-net
9) Social Mobility- 2.0
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation act of 1996 requires states to provide benefits to adults who are actively seeking employment, are currently employed, or participate in employment training activities. This makes it difficult to receive benefits in rural, poor towns that lack employment opportunities. Jobs are supposed to be given based on skill, but that is not always the case. Often public figures give jobs to cronies or family. Public school do not have the resources to compete with their private counterparts. As a result those with money receive a better education than those without. These facts make it difficult for individuals from poor backgrounds to compete for jobs. As a result there is little social mobility within the United States.
http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2671&context=jssw https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/07/social-mobility-america/491240/ https://www.ft.com/content/7de9165e-c3d2-11e6-9bca-2b93a6856354
10) Freedom from outside control- 5.0
America is a strong, independent nation and, as a result, has citizens free of control from outside influences. The strong military power of the United States also protects it’s citizens. No citizens from the United States is subject to laws of other countries.
11) Protection of Domestic Enterprises- 2.0
The United States has free trade agreements with 20 countries. This includes: Australia, Mexico, Korea, Israel, and more. Companies that manufacture goods in the United States cannot compete with outside countries due to high wages and other factors. Free trade agreement, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, mean that other countries can import cheap goods without being taxed. This has caused the United States to have positive net imports. In 2016 The United States had $2.2 trillion in exports, $2.7 trillion in imports, and $.5 trillion in net imports. The exports equal almost 12% of GDP and imports equal almost 15% of GDP in 2016.
https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/trade-investment-framework-agreements https://www.uschamber.com/international/international-policy/benefits-international-trade-0 https://www.state.gov/e/eb/tpp/bta/fta/c26474.htm
12) Foreign currency transactions- 5.0
The United States is the only accepted form of currency in the United States. This mean that if any individual or business wants to spend money they must use the United States Dollar. This allows the United States in enforce effective monetary policy. It also allows business owners can spend more time focusing on expanding their business, and less exchanging money.
13) Border Control- 2.5
The United States Customs and Border Protection and the United States Coast Guard are tasked with defending the United States land and sea borders from people or goods trying to cross into the country illegally. The land border with Mexico poses the largest threat. There are currently 700 miles of walls that separate the nations. In 2015 the United States spent $3.8 billion on border protection. Despite this there are estimated to be around 12 million people living in the United States illegally. A large amount of money is needed to protect the borders due to their size. Experts theorize that the large amount of money needed to protect the borders does not justify the amount that could be potential gained by the United States economy. As a result illegal immigrants are coming into the nation illegally, and stealing jobs from lawful citizens.
14) Currency- 5.0
The United States Dollar is the only currency legally used in the United States. Despite this an extremely small percentage of transactions use electronic currency such as bitcoins. Almost all other transaction use the United States Dollar. The only organization allowed to print of destroy the dollar is the Federal Reserve Bank. This causes the Dollar to be an effective, stable currency.
https://www.uscurrency.gov/seven-denominations https://www.moneyfactory.gov/uscurrency.html https://www.treasury.gov/services/Pages/coins-currency.aspx
15) Cultural, language homogeneity- 4.0
The United States is a diverse, cultural melting pot. According to the Census Bureau in 2015 77% of the population was white, 13% was black, 17% was Hispanic, and 5.6% was Asian. While the population is primarily white there are a decent portion of other races. Nearly all of the citizens speak English. The United States is diverse nation unified through a strong sense of nationalism. Some minority groups such as black lives matter have started to speak out, but these groups are a vocal minority. Despite this the United States is a culturally homogeneous.
https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acs-22.pdf http://www.nationalreview.com/article/385035/homogeneity-their-strength-kevin-d-williamson https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/
16) Political effectiveness- 3.5
The United States has reacted to terrorist acts and natural disasters with varying levels of speed and success in the past. As a response to 9/11 the United States increased security and defense measures through the creation of the Depart of Homeland Security. Many of the Department of Homeland Security’s parts are designed to stop terrorist attacks. The Transportation Security Administration protects national transportation systems; the Immigration and Customs Enforcement protects the United States from potential immigration threats; the Customs and Border Protection protect the United State’s land border; the United States Coast Guard protects the maritime borders; and the United States Secret Service protects designated sites and people. In addition the United States has the Federal Emergency Management Agency which is responsible for supporting citizens after any emergency. While many of these agencies have yet to stop any large terrorist attacks the Federal Emergency Management Agency was tested prior to Hurricane Katrina.
After Hurricane Katrina the Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to react in an appropriate manner. Despite nation wide support residents were left stranded at their homes and stores were looted. Firefighters from around the country volunteered, but only a fraction were put to use. Many were left to hand out flyer instead where they made little difference. To this day the Gulf Coast is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
https://www.fema.gov/pdf/about/testimony/022509_testimony.pdf http://web.mit.edu/12.000/www/m2010/finalwebsite/katrina/government/government-response.html https://www.dhs.gov/operational-and-support-components
17) Institutional stability-3.0
The United State has a consistent government, but lacks economic stability. The United States was founded on the Constitution, which is still used to this day. The federal courts and government are still bound to uphold the 27 constitutional amendments. These include freedoms such as the right to free speech. Funding for education, medical services, and law enforcement can change from year to year, yet has remained fairly constant. Over the last century the United States has had six major economic crisis. In 1929 there was The Crash of ‘29; In 1973 there was The Opec Embargo; In 1981 there was The Early-’80s Recession; In 1987 there was Black Monday; In 2001 there was The Dot-Com Crash; and in 2008 there was The Great Recession. These frequent economic crashes give business owners little hope for the future. Despite large scale economic regression little policy has changed.
18) Honest Government- 2.0
The United States government is full of career politicians who are easily influenced by money. In 2016 the presidential race campaigns cost over $2.6 billion. Lobbyists and Pacs can contribute large sums to presidential campaigns. These contribution often come with benefits. In the most recent election presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was caught pandering to elite financial firms despite publicly scolding them. According to a 2015 study less than 20% of the population feel that they can trust the government. Transparency International, an organization aimed at exposing and stopping corruption, gave the United States a score of 74 out of 100. This ranks the United States 18th out of 176 countries. This score should be higher, and is low compared to other developed nations.
http://www.people-press.org/2015/11/23/beyond-distrust-how-americans-view-their-government/ https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/us/politics/hillary-clinton-speeches-wikileaks.html?_r=0 https://www.opensecrets.org/overview/cost.php
19) Common Laws- 3.0
The Constitution states that everyone is created equal, and, therefore, receives the same rights. Despite this money and power can be used to leverage the system. Court cases in which one party’s resources outweighs the other one party can often draw out the case and force the other party into withdrawing or settling. This is done by breaking up resolution conversations. Tactics such as this are used to manipulate the system. There are also many different types of laws, which not all citizens are subject to. There are federal, state, and county laws. This means not all citizens are subject to the same laws.
20. Central Bank- 4.0
In 1913 the Federal Reserve Act was passed. It established the Federal Reserve System, the central banking system, and gave the authority to create tender to the Federal Reserve. After the financial crisis in 2008 the central banks gained more power. In the years following the crisis the Federal Reserve’s funds grew from $900 million to over $3.7 trillion. The Federal Reserve is designed to be insulated from political pressures. The Federal Reserve is financed by the profits of its operations. This means the government has no financial power over the reserve in the form of funding. This stops the government, who spend money, from having control over printing money. When the government can do three things to raise money: raise taxes, borrow it, or print more money. In governments without this limitation governments tend to print too much money and cause inflation. This inflation can hurt the economy and disrupt the economic cycle. This insulation has also stopped politicians from abusing the electoral cycle. This is because the federal reserve limits the amount of change the fund rate changes near elections. If this were to be easy to change political figures could use it to manipulate the market and persuade voters. As a whole, the central bank allows for a more flexible and stable system.
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/7089794/ns/business-answer_desk/t/does-politics-influence-fed-decisions/ https://acton.org/pub/commentary/2009/06/17/can-central-banks-be-more-insulated-politics https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/fract.htm
21. Domestic budget management- 3.0
The United States has had a small budget deficit since 2001. Each year the deficit ranged from 1.1% to 9.8% of the GDP. On average from 2002 to 2016 the average budget deficit has been 4.2% of the GDP. This demonstrates reasonable ability to regulate spending. The budget deficit has decreased in recent years. The defect as a percentage of GDP has been 3.3% in 2016, 2.5% in 2015, and 2.8% in 2014. These numbers demonstrate a steady rate of improvement in budgeting, yet they still spend more than they collect in taxes each year.
The United States spends over twice as much on the federal budget then they collect in taxes each year. In 2016 the United States collected $6.5 trillion in taxes and had a federal budget of $17.4 trillion. In 2015 they collected $6.4 trillion in taxes and had a federal budget of $16.5 trillion. As a whole the United States spends a great amount more on the federal budget then they collect in taxes. These frivolous spending habits burdens the country with debts.
http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/total_2015USrt_18rs1n http://federal-budget.insidegov.com/ http://federal-budget.insidegov.com/l/120/2017-Estimate
22. Government Debt- 1.0
The United States has a debt of $19.9 trillion. This number exceeds the country’s GDP of $18 trillion. Of the total debt $12.9 trillion is internal debt and $7 trillion is external debt. In 2016 the United States had $433 billion in interest on outstanding debts. This is 2.3% of the country’s $18.56 trillion GDP in 2016. This extremely large amount of debt will burden the country’s economy for years. Because the United States has to pay so much towards interest payments it is unable to use the money on wealth creating activities.
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/10/news/economy/us-debt-ownership/ https://www.thebalance.com/the-u-s-debt-and-how-it-got-so-big-3305778
23. Economic Statistics- 3.0
The United States has a number of agencies that publish and analyze economic statistics. This includes agencies such as the Bureau of Economics and the Department of Commerce. These agencies publish statistics to the internet, where they can be scrutinized by the general public. This holds the agencies accountable for the numbers they punish. Because of this data the general public is able to analyze the current economic climate and predict future changes.
Despite this experts argue over the quality of the published statistics. A month before the election in October 2012, the unemployment rate dropped from 8.1% to 7.8%. This sharp drop shocked many and played a large role in the election. Many claimed that this was uncharacteristic, and sited that the unemployment rate continued to rise after months after. Similarly the same month the Commerce Department reported a 2% rise is real GDP. This too was odd. Critics claimed that these statistics were manipulated, and that Obama, who was up for reelection, purposefully limited spending in the previous quarters to boost the economy just before the election. Nothing has been proven, but questions regarding the legitimacy of the statistics continue to rise.
https://www.bea.gov/ http://www.esa.doc.gov/ http://www.esa.doc.gov/content/about-economics-statistics-administration http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20150531/REG/305319999/how-accurate-are-economic-reports
24. Protection of public health and safety- 3.5
The United States has a number of agencies dedicated to public health and safety. This includes the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; The National Institutes of Health; and more. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act was passed. This provided millions of Americans medical coverage, and prevented individuals from being denied coverage due to being poor or having pre-existing conditions. These agencies and laws aim to improve the quality and length of the citizens lives. The effectiveness of these agencies and laws can be judge based on the Tuberculosis and infant mortality rate.
In 2016 The United States had an infant mortality rate of 5.8 per 1000 infants. This is extremely large when compared to Japan’s 2 infant deaths per 1,000 or Germany’s 3.4 infant deaths per 1,000. One of the big factors that cause the United States infant mortality rate to be so high is premature births. Premature births are often caused by conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, which are also relatively common in the United States. In 2015 the United States had a Tuberculosis rate of 3 cases per 100,000 people. This is low compared to Japan’s 17 cases per 100,000 people or Germany’s 8 cases per 100,000 people. The United States has many organizations and regulations that keep its citizens healthy, but the country still has many health concerns such as obesity and diabetes. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.TBS.INCD http://www.apic.org/Resource_/TinyMceFileManager/Advocacy-PDFs/outline_of_govt_health_agencies.pdf https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html
25) High Wage Policies- 3.0
The United States has a number of minimum wage laws that differ across the nation. There are federal, state, and county laws that dictate minimum wage. The minimum wage changes to adjust for the cost of living in each area. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, while Seattle, Washington is raising their minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021. Many other developed countries, such as Germany have a higher minimum wage. Germany has a minimum wage that starts at €8.84, which is equal to $9.52, and increases based on other factors. The United States minimum wage is relatively high compared to most of the world, but is still small compared to other developed nations.
26) Environmental protection- 2.5
The United States has strict policies on air pollution, water pollution, pesticides and toxic substances, and waste management. This include policies such as the Civil Penalty Policy for Administrative Hearings, the EPA kit car policy, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Clean Water Act. All of these policies are, in part, enforced by the EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA was started in 1970 with the purpose of protecting the environment and human health. These laws are regulations improve the health of the citizens as well as the environment around them. Environmental laws and regulations like this can hurt businesses in areas such as fracking, but improve the long term health of vital industries such as fishing, farming, and more. Studies have that states that pass strong environmental policies do not regress economically in the following years. While there has been much advancement in the past, recently the EPA has been going backwards.
Since Trump has taken office the amount of environmental protection has been reduced. The EPA took off all mentions of climate change off their website. Trump has also frozen all new regulations coming out of the EPA. In addition Trump plans to cut EPA funding by a whopping 40%. All of these indicate that Trump will be ending many of the great policies that are in place.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/water-enforcement-policyguidance-and-publications http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/trump-plan-40-cut-could-cause-epa-science-office-implode-official-warns http://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/1/23/14356652/trump-epa-regulations http://bechtel.colorado.edu/~silverst/cven5534/Economic%20Impact%20Environ.%20Regulation.pdf
27) Strong Army- 5.0
The United States has the strongest military in the world. In 2015 the United States spent the most out of any country on their military. The United States spent $597 billion on military spending. This is more that the next ten countries combined. China, who is second on the list, spent $146 billion. The United States has 87 times the number of tanks that China does, and of a higher quality. The United States has close to 75% of attack helicopters on earth, and half of the aircraft carriers. The United States also has the benefit of being highly experience in combat. Since the founding of the United States its military has been in almost constant combat. The United States’ army is superior to every other countries’ in every way.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/02/09/this-remarkable-chart-shows-how-u-s-defense-spending-dwarfs-the-rest-of-the-world/?utm_term=.af180ec6027b https://www.military1.com/all/article/402211-how-much-stronger-is-the-us-military-compared-with-the-next-strongest-power/ http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/collectivedefense/
28) Foreign trade impact- 3.0
In 2016 the United State’s GDP was $18.56 trillion dollars. The United States had $2.2 trillion in exports, $2.7 trillion in imports, and $.5 trillion in net imports. The exports equal almost 12% of GDP and imports equal almost 15% of GDP in 2016. Even though the net imports hurts the overall GDP it has a large impact on the United States economy. More than 41 million American jobs depend on foreign trade. The lower prices of imported goods also give American families cheaper alternatives. Overall the United States has a healthy amount of foreign trade, but the $.5 trillion in net imports hurts the GDP.
https://www.uschamber.com/international/international-policy/benefits-international-trade-0 https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/statis_e/wts2016_e/wts2016_e.pdf https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-imports-and-exports-components-and-statistics-3306270
29)Management of foreign currency budget - 2.0
Due to the high amount of net imports the United States receives a 2 in this category. In 2016, the United States had $2.2 trillion in exports and $2.7 trillion in imports. This means the United States had a net import of half a trillion dollars. $2.2 trillion in exports is a substantial figure, but the amount of exports is worrying. The United States imported and exported a large quantity of capital goods. The United States has a healthy amount of foreign trade, but the net imports is too high.
30) Layers of collective action: 2.5
The United States government is multifaceted and has many layers. There are both elected and appointed officials on all levels. Citizens have to follow federal, state, and city laws as well as rules made by local boards and officials. As a result there are varying amounts of layers to collective actions. The officials are also removed from the area they officiate at different levels. On the federal level the president is elected, but many judges are nominated and confirmed by the president and senate. The president can also appoint a CIA director and NASA administrator. On the other side of the spectrum there are also both appointed and elected officials. Depending on state and county school board member can either be elected or appointed. This varying level of layers of collective actions means the United States receives a 2.5 in this section.
https://www.sheriffs.org/sites/default/files/tb/County_Police_v_Elected_Sheriff.pdf http://www.nytimes.com/1988/11/06/nyregion/school-boards-elected-or-appointed.html?pagewanted=all http://peopleof.oureverydaylife.com/elected-vs-appointed-local-government-9203.html
31) Pro-business climate: 5.0
The United States, and its citizens, pride themselves on being a capitalist nation. This means entrepreneurs and those who attain success in business are generally thought of highly by the public. Infact many entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have attained celebrity status. This includes Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Donald Trump, and many more. Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are looked at favorably because they were able to attain the American dream. Every American hopes to succeed in a similar manner, and, as a result, often look up to these figures as role models.
32) Government enterprises: 3.0
As well as owning companies the United States also has a number of government subsidized companies. The government owned companies include the Federal Prison Industries, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and more, while the government subsidized enterprises include Amtrak, Farmer Mac, as well as many others. In total the United States government spends around $100 billion a year on corporate welfare. According to Federal Reserve Economic Data in 2014, 5.3% of the GDP came from government and state owned enterprises. With minor changes many of the government and state owned enterprises, such as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, could support themselves, while others, such as Amtrak and Conrail would fail to survive financial independence.
http://home.earthlink.net/~jhadler/nfwf.html https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DDEI08USA156NWDB http://www.investopedia.com/articles/basics/11/introduction-to-government-subsidies.asp http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/corporate-welfare-federal-budget
33) Internal security agreements: 5.0
The United States currently has defense arrangements with 52 countries. These countries include England, France, Germany, and many more. These 52 counties make up a large portion of the world's military and economic power. As a result, any country in a conflict with the United States would not only struggle to match their military power, but also would also be strained economically.
The United States military dwarfs every other country's. As of 2014 The United States, which has the world's largest military spending budget, spends $711 billion a year on average. The next country spends a mere sum of $143 billion in comparison. The United States has over 8,700 tanks while China has 99. The United State’s tanks, the M1 Abrams, is also considered higher in quality. Of the 20 aircraft carriers on earth the United States has 10. Of the 8,400 attack helicopters the United States has 6,400. Despite all this what is arguably the largest benefit to the United States is our combat experience. Since the United State’s conception in 1776 they have almost constantly been carrying out military operations. Most recently are the operations in the Middle East as well as North and West Africa. This means not only do the United States have the most military power, but they can use it adeptly as well.
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42738.pdf https://www.military1.com/all/article/402211-how-much-stronger-is-the-us-military-compared-with-the-next-strongest-power/ http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/collectivedefense/
34) Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs: 2.0
The government implements laws and regulations to protect the public, but hurts domestic enterprises in process. Currently government regulations include: environmental laws from the Environment Protection Agency; Labor laws, such as minimum wage, from the Fair Labor Standards Act; anti-price fixing and monopoly laws from the Federal Trade Commission; and many more. All of these regulations unfairly burden small businesses the most. In 2008, companies with 20 or less people had to pay on average $7,647 per employee, while companies with 500 or more employees had to pay a mere $5,282 per employee. Regulations such as this encourage businesses to outsource jobs to countries without such strict and numerous regulations, which costs the American economy millions of jobs every year.
UNITED STATES - OSCAR TRANAM
RATING SUMMARY - OSCAR TRANAM POLICY NUMBER RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE POSSIBLE PERCENTAGE 1 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 % 2 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 3 2.5 7.5 15.0 50 4 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 5 4.2 12.6 15.0 84 6 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 7 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 8 2.5 7.5 15.0 50 9 3.0 9.0 15.0 60 10 5.0 15.0 15.0 100 11 2.0 6.0 15.0 60 12 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 13 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 14 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 15 1.5 3.0 10.0 30 16 1.0 2.0 10.0 20 17 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 18 1.0 2.0 10.0 20 19 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 20 1.0 2.0 10.0 20 21 2.0 4.0 10.0 40 22 1.0 2.0 10.0 20 23 4.8 9.6 10.0 96 24 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 25 3.0 6.0 10.0 60 26 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 27 3.5 7.0 10.0 70 28 4.0 8.0 10.0 80 29 1.5 1.5 5.0 30 30 3.5 3.5 5.0 70 31 1.0 1.0 5.0 20 32 3.0 3.0 5.0 60 33 4.0 4.0 5.0 80 34 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 TOTAL 105.5 237.7 365.0 65.1% ===== ====== ===== =====
INDIVIDUAL POLICIES - OSCAR TRANAM
1. Freedom of internal control: 4.5
In the United States of America, citizens have the freedom to create any business or enterprise they wish, so long as it adheres to the laws and regulations of the government. These laws are set in place solely for the protection of the people and preservation of justice. For example my father owns a restaurant and wants to expand the alcoholic diversity of the bar. In order to do so, he would need a liquor license that allows for more than just beer and wine. If he were to just begin selling hard alcoholic products without the proper permits then the local government would crack down on it. That being said, to build a business legally means that there are quite a bit of federal and state licenses and permits that one must obtain. These collectively can be very expensive and can make it difficult to start an enterprise. Therefore, the spectrum of individuals who have the ability (capital) to build something that follows the proper standards is skewed. While poor people have just as much of a right to start their own business, it is a much more arduous path. This is why I rate this policy a 4.5.
2. Freedom of Speech: 4.0
Protected by the first amendment, people retain the freedom of speech, assembly, press, petition, and religion. The government cannot infringe on this right if it is interpreted correctly. People have the total right to express their opinions and protest. However the boundaries for this amendment are a little blurry and there are certain instances where people’s words can harm others. In this situations it is left up to the Supreme Court to provide the most accurate interpretation that will preserve justice. So long as a business owner does not encourage any kinds of violence or obscenity they need not worry about governmental censorship. Since there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this amendment and the limits are not always so clear, I rate this policy a 4.
3. Effective, Fair Police Force: 2.5
There has been quite a negative sentiment towards the American police force as time goes on. This is mainly due to the many statistics that reflect corruption and brutality. Minority citizens especially have a disdain towards the police as an NBC News poll shows how 82 percent of African Americans feel that police treat people differently based on their ethnicity. These people believe that this kind of racial profiling is hindering their ability to obtain certain jobs or start their own business. While murder rates have steadily been declining over the past 20 years, the FBI still estimated that about 1,200,000 violent crimes took place in the United States in 2015. If people do not feel safe from criminal activities then it can be discouraging to start a new business.
Do to the lack of equal security and nation wide negative sentiment, I rate this police policy a 2.5.
4. Private Property: 5.0
Protected by the fourth amendment, American private property laws are very sturdy and fair. Citizens can to do with their property as they wish (sell, rent, hold, entrust) without worrying about any searches and seizures from authorities. Copyright laws also fall under this policy where people can get patents when creating a new business idea, invention, or other thing that could be copied. If a person tries to infringe upon another's patent then the latter has the right to sue. This complete protection for entrepreneurs is something that defines our country and is why I rate this policy a 5.
5. Commercial Banks: 4.2
Banks in America are regulated by the federal and state governments, the top five today being JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs. Banks provide loans, checking assistance, and saving assistance to people and businesses. Smaller banks will offer better interests rates in order to compete. Small businesses may receive equity loans that induce new company growth. These loans create new jobs and raise the GDP, this can be seen in the 3rd Quarter of 2016 where the annual growth rate had increased by 7.7 percent so banks had more loanable money to give intended business investments. However, banks have a certain criteria to merit if someone is worthy of a loan and if a business does not comply with certain regulations then the banks will not take the risk. The benefits of this policy are skewed more towards the wealthy and that is why I rate this policy with a 4.2.
6. Communication Systems: 5.0
In our day in age we have the capability to communicate with almost anyone, anywhere in seconds. The United States has an exceptional communication system through our use of smartphones and satellites. As of 2016, about 77 percent of Americans possess a smartphone and about 70 to 80 percent of people use social media. This includes instagram, snapchat, facebook, and others. By taking advantage of these kind of media, and the fact that Americans on average spend about five hours a day watching television, business owners can reach out to a very broad audience. Communication through phone and internet also provides businesses with the capability of make connections overseas, encouraging international trade and globalization. Due to the limitlessness and far reaching capabilities of national and global communication, I rate this policy a 5.
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/12/evolution-of-technology/ http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/average-american-watches-5-hours-tv-day-article-1.1711954 https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/
7. Transportation: 4.5
The United States provides many means of transportation that allow people to get to their desired destination in a fashionable time. This includes planes, trains, buses, taxi services, cars, bikes, and of course, roller blades. This wide array of transportation services is why the United States has such a quick and accessible postal service system, especially in major metropolitan cities. This industry is worth $61 billion and employs nearly 400,000 people. While this industry supports a lot of jobs, it also is a crucial component to how our economy facilitates trade and physically connects businesses to their supply chain. The speed in which a product gets to its destination influences the customer’s amount of satisfaction. Transportation methods have continued to get faster and more advanced, but tickets can be expensive, so I rate this policy a 4.5
http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2171313 https://www.quora.com/Why-does-the-US-have-so-many-small-airports http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/ptbenefits/pages/factsheet.aspx
8. Education: 2.5
In a study of 34 of the world's top countries, the United States is ranked at 14th in reading, 25th in math, and 17th in science. For a country with so much authority, our education system is failing. In 2012 only about 39 percent of people in the U.S. were expected to graduate college. The government also spends its money elsewhere and thus the funding for education has decreased by almost five percent since 2009. Employers nowadays only hire workers with at least some kind of college education. Those who don’t go to college will have it tough in the real world as apparent in the Great Recession. Those who hadn’t gone to college never really recovered since of the 7.2 million jobs lost between that time period, 5.6 million of whom were workers with no more than a high school diploma. Due to the poor ranking of our education system and low percentage of college graduates, this policy receives a 2.5
9. Social Mobility: 3.0
With an increasing population and decreasing amount of resources, there is a lot of competition in the United States. It is becoming more and more difficult to climb up the social ladder and achieve the “American Dream”. People who do not come from wealth get trapped by harsh criteria and debt. After attending college many people are left with large amounts of student loan debt that takes years and years to pay off. Having this over your head at all times makes it difficult to move up in the world or out of your financial situation. The cost of education is so much now and people are having to give up a lot to attend these schools. Having debt to pay off or kids to send to school makes it difficult for someone to start their own business or take risks. This is why I rate this policy with a 3.
10. Freedom of outside control: 5.0
The United States is one of the most developed and powerful country in the world due to our military, economic status, and freedom enjoyed by the citizens. There is no outside force that can implement control over U.S. citizens. At the same time even if an immigrant commits a crime within national boundaries they will be subject to the same state and federal laws as everyone else. The government can also take away their Green Card or VISA and thus they are forced to leave. Our country has made many treaties with countries that protect its citizens in other countries. A business can feel comfortable in the U.S and won’t have to worry about the laws of other countries. It is because of this that I rate this policy with a 5.
https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Documents/tab4.pdf https://diplomacy.state.gov/discoverdiplomacy/diplomacy101/places/170600.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_treaties
11. Protection of Domestic Enterprise: 2.0
In the 1950’s our government had a system in place known as national preference to protect domestic businesses from foreign competition. As we were still a developing country and this was way before the internet and before the ease of global travel, this was an easy sentiment to sell. The United States has a lot of free trade treaties with other countries and world trade, spending over $225.6 billion on imports there is now a $54 billion deficit. This creates unfair competition with enterprises in the United States because business owners have to compete in the home market but also against foreign goods. Not only have we lost jobs competing against foreign goods but we have also lost jobs competing against manufacturing (some blaming NAFTA). But due to the economic power in the United States, outside business wants to sell to this country since there are a lot of consumers who want cheap products.
12. Foreign currency transactions: 5.0
When foreigners travel to the United States they must convert their money to USD, which is our official currency. This is the only way to purchase goods so that businesses will only have to deal with one currency. Since this policy is pretty thoroughly enforced I rate it a 5.0.
13. Border Control 3.0
There are laws and law enforcement to disallow persons from another country from entering the United States, and there are also many laws that do allow them. Economic integration and again, the further industrialization has allowed people to move about the world. Currently U.S. immigration laws allow for 675,000 people to enter the country legally, plus slightly more for close family members. Lawful permanent residency allows a foreign national to work and live lawfully and permanently in the United States. Lawful permanent residents are eligible to apply for nearly all jobs (i.e., jobs not legitimately restricted to U.S. citizens) and can remain in the country even if they are unemployed. Each year the United States also admits non citizens on a temporary basis. Annually, Congress and the President determine a separate number for refugee admissions.
Focusing on border control, and the current wall discussion, we will talk about Mexican immigration and border control.
About 69 percent of the 11.2 million immigrants from Mexico ages 16 and older were in the civilian labor force in 2015. I suspect many of these jobs are ones otherwise left unattended. California is the largest welfare state in the U.S. Some argue the jobs taken by immigration have added to this massive burden, others feel the immigration is more from demand, that those jobs are not being filled otherwise. I tend to agree with the later, but based on only a small number of personal reasons.
The U.S. has already spent billions of dollars on the 700-mile long barrier between the south and Mexico. And continues to spent $4 billion dollars a year! Border agents have increased 500% in 24 years. In 2013 Congress put forward a bill that would have set aside a whopping $46.3 billion over ten years to move toward the more militarized border. Maybe if we extended the motto ‘Make America Great Again’ and work with our neighbors on their local needs, we could save, um let’s say $2billion dollars.
14. Currency: 5.0
The United States Dollar is the sole currency of the US. It is expressed with a $ sign for dollar bills, and a ¢ for cents. This currency is only printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. This bureau currently prints paper money in $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. If you have a damaged bill, want to exchange coins to dollars or withdraw money, you can go to the bank. Foreigners can exchange their currency with Bank of America since no businesses will take foreign currency. The USD Index measures the value of our dollar against other countries currencies, and they have stated how the dollar has reached its highest level in over four years. Due to the USD currency has remained steady and solid I rate this policy with a 5.0
http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/29/investing/us-dollar-strong-four-year-high/ https://www.usa.gov/currency https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_dollar
15. Cultural, language homogeneity: 1.5
This United States used to be known for it’s acceptance of foreign people and blending of cultures. However, the recent election has showed that half of our country feels otherwise. While the United States is very culturally diverse, there is not an even spread of acceptance. Many events like the Black Lives Matter Movement protest and Women’s March against Trump have shown how there is still a lot of discrimination that takes place in this country. Bias’ have made it difficult for people of certain races or gender to do well in the business world. Often times it can be more difficult for them to receive a job or equal pay. However, as far as language homogeneity goes, 80% of the United States speaks English. This policy receives a 1.5 for its never-ending controversies.
http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-most-spoken-languages-in-america.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_United_States http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/21/politics/trump-women-march-on-washington/ http://www.dailywire.com/news/11777/how-many-votes-did-trump-and-clinton-get-final-james-barrett#exit-modal
16. Political Effectiveness: 1.0 [and 8.0 under Obama]
For many Obama brought back the idea of the American Dream. He underlined the idea that it is the obligation of society to make this reality. Ironically, those same people are the ones that voted for Trump most likely. Eight years was not long enough for people in the lowest economic bracket to come up and by voting completely opposite they didn’t realize it was to further their decline. They are starting to realize it now. Obama, in the same way Clinton did, challenged traditional liberalism. Obama effectively made us aware of climate issues, gun control, prison reform, racial reform and so many other issues. He emphasized the need for educational equality. Obama’s use of military power was prudent and pragmatic. His dignity, demeanor and ability as a great speaker made him an incredibly effective leader. I give Trump a 1.0 Obama an 8.0
17. Institutional stability: 3.0
The world is becoming more stable and semi-democratic, but no less corrupt. Leaders who convert public resources into private privileges as a means to build informal political support are able to substitute for concessions in the formal institutions, alleviate pressure for further liberalization, and thereby extend the longevity of their regimes.
This is true for the United States as well, and our new government wreaks of it.
For decades the United States has been considered the destination location. The idea of democracy and prosperity. A big shift is happening, many citizens are becoming anti-establishment, and world resentment of the United States is steadily growing. We are still in a good place as a whole around the world I think and nationally, but a strong decline is near. I give this a 3.0.
18. Honest Government: 1.0
Everyday we read about a politician being investigated and the dishonest media themselves airing out the lies. I don’t always think they start out this way. But the need to compromise on every single issue has caused this way of thinking and succeeding. What about their oath of office? Most times the politician when caught lying keeps their appointed position. The truth is, Americans as a whole, unintelligently, don’t want honest leaders, they want effective ones. I rate this ast a 1.0, for pretty much nobody cares.
"Truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies". Winston Churchill
19. Common Laws: 2.0
While every state and city has its own laws that apply to each one of its citizens, certain members of society have more leniency. Wealthy people have more financial resources that give them advantages low-income people can’t have. Wealthier people can hire better and multiple lawyers while someone who is poor is most likely appointed one. Better lawyers can find legal loopholes that can get businesses out of trouble. Much of the public believe there is also a racial bias, known as “white privilege”, where white people are treated better in the eyes of the court. Whereas minorities are thought to be discriminated against in our legal system, examples include the Ethan Couch or George Zimmerman cases. This is why I rate this policy with a 2.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/2lhzxl/cmvthe_fact_that_rich_people_can_afford/ https://www.quora.com/Are-people-who-hire-more-expensive-lawyers-more-likely-to-win-in-court-Why
20. Central Banks: 1.0
In modern economies, the central bank is responsible for the formulation of monetary policy and the regulation of member banks. The central bank of the United States is the Federal Reserve System, established with the 1913 Federal Reserve Act.
The Federal Reserve System provides the government with a ready source of loans and serves as the safe depository for federal money. The Federal Reserve’s responsibility is to function with fairness and promote consumer protection and community development. The Federal Reserve bank has grossly failed, allowing the financial institutions it supervises to create the thousands of loopholes leading to the crash in 2008. Since then the bank supervisors have enacted new laws, but you can bet with more loopholes to be found and safety nets to rescue the accused. I rate this policy as a 1.0
21. Domestic Budget Management: 2.0
The US government collect about $3.7 trillion in a year income and payroll taxes but the country struggles budget challenges. The federal government’s budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 was $1.3 trillion which is 8.7% of the GDP and federal spending increased to 24% of the GDP, the third-highest level in the past 40 years. If this country can improve its economic conditions, spending will decline relative to GDP and revenues will increase. The annual budget hurts our spending because we over spend and the government must borrow to cover it.
22. Government Debt: 1.0
As of 2016, the United States National Debt was about $20 trillion. The government only continues to overspend and borrow money, digging a deeper financial hole. This money is owed to international investors, federal accounts and reserves, domestic investors, state governments and local governments. The debt is due to the national federal budget deficit which can only be fixed by raising domestic taxes.
http://www.bea.gov/ https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/borrowing-and-federal-debt/ http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/ http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/national_debt
23.Economic statistics: 4.8
By methodically identifying the subject, gathering the data and providing no or unbiased analysis, economic statistics assist in nearly everyone’s decision making. The obvious is the impact having the correct information for a person looking to purchase or start a new business or buy an investment property. The local labor costs, taxes and general health of a location will influence the decision on where and when to start and how to market and what service and/or product will best suit the location. Median home prices are all over the place in our cities and investment piranha’s from all over the globe are buying our local property based sheerly on the numbers they see. It is not just a tool for the wealthy, the U.S. Census Bureau provides information for local government social programs and effects the very basic assistance to those on the fringe. There are numerous other websites (like the U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis under the Department of Commerce) that provide and share statistics on the country’s economic status. Businesses trust the data because they can analyze, predict and prepare themselves for what could happen in the future. Economic statistics are crucial. This is why I rate this policy with a 4.8.
http://www.bls.gov http://data.worldbank.org/topic/economy-and-growth http://www.bea.gov/
24. Protection of public health and safety: 4.0
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are some of the many organizations that the United States has to help with public health issues like battling diseases, inspecting food, and regulating waste. Since conditions are improving each year people are living longer and healthier lives. The United States is afforded privileges that many other countries are not, like clean water, safe food, and good physicians. Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010 which gave medical coverage to millions of people, even if they were no wealthy. Business owners therefore need not worry about losing any profits due to health complications of their buyers. However, there still are thousands of homeless people on the streets and this is why I rate this policy with a 4.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform http://www.cdc.gov/about/organization/mission.htm http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2015/oct/us-health-care-from-a-global-perspective
25. High Wage Policies: 3.0
The national American minimum wage varies depending on your place of residence, the lowest being $7.25 USD per hour. In order to be able to live comfortably in the biggest cities in the United States, a person needs to generating an income between $50,000 to $90,000. Living comfortably includes affording a place to stay, buying groceries, and paying for utilities and health insurance. Some places in our country have raised the minimum wage close to $15 USD per hour, which seems like a good thing, however these changes can affect future levels of employment as well. It can affect economic growth, income inequality, and poverty. It’s been argued that by increasing the minimum wage, youth employment will decrease since these jobs are being filled by older workers with more experience. This is why I rate this policy with a 3.
26. Environmental Protection: 4.0
While our country still has much room for improvement as far as national environmental awareness goes, on a global level we are still pretty ahead of the game. In 1990 the United States recycled about 33% of its waste. This is a drastic change compared to 2015’s 87%. This success can be credited to the Environmental Protection Agency, which in 2016 spent almost 5 trillion dollars towards resources for environmental protection. In turn our air is safe to breathe, our water is clean and drinkable, and stricter governmental regulation has reduced chemical hazards. While much of middle America still has a lot of work to do, we are still doing well on a global scale so that’s why I rate this policy with a 4.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Environmental_Protection_Agency https://www.usaspending.gov/Transparency/Pages/AgencySummary.aspx?AgencyCode=6800&FiscalYear=2017
27. Strong Army: 3.5
The United States spends close to $600 billion a year on its military. This is more than any other country in the world, by far. This number exceeds one-third of the GDP. Due to all of the financial resources we have the best army, Navy, Airforce, and Marines, with over 1 million enlisted. That said business’ usually don’t need to worry about any outside invasion or bombings that would hurt their business. However since the government should essentially be distributing the money elsewhere and we have a National Debt of $20 trillion I rate this policy with a 3.5.
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/military-expenditure https://www.military1.com/army/article/402211-how-much-stronger-is-the-us-military-compared-with-the-next-strongest-power/ http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jan/13/barack-obama/obama-us-spends-more-military-next-8-nations-combi/ https://www.nationalpriorities.org/campaigns/us-military-spending-vs-world/
28. Foreign trade impact: 4.0
While it is still early in the year, data from the previous two years will be referenced. In 2015, exports were 12.6% and imports were 15.5% of the United States GDP. While at the same time that same year the total GDP was about 18 trillion. The imports and exports make up about 30% of the United States GDP which shows economic growth. We have improved greatly since 2008 so this policy is rated with a 4.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_States https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/toppartners.html http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.IMP.GNFS.ZS?end=2015&start=1960&view=chart
29. Management of foreign currency budget: 1.5
In 2016 United States imports totaled 225.6 billion while its exports were only 189.2 billion, however this is offset by the GDP. Due to the huge deficit and extreme distance from equilibrium of imports and exports this policy receives the a low score.
30. Layers of collective action: 3.5
This mainly has to do with local government which allows people to independently work on local issues rather than wait on the decision from the federal government. It allows us to address our problems quicker and more efficiently. Certain areas have specific needs that do not apply to the rest of the country and this can become especially apparent for businesses. The minimum wage for San Francisco can’t be the same as that of Indianapolis since the cost of living is so much more. At the same time the process to pass local laws can also be strenuous and is not always in the public’s best interest so I rate this policy with a 3.5.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/state-and-local-government http://www.nlc.org/build-skills-and-networks/resources/cities-101/city-powers/local-government-authority http://sfgov.org/cityhall/
31. Pro-business climate: 1.0
Of course a flourishing, stable pro-business environment that is for the good of the entire community and social system is a good thing. However, the reality is we have unstable, failing systems, inadequate health care and social services, low wages, lack of investment in education, and have made it very difficult for the small businessperson to succeed. The idea of the ‘American Dream’? Total b.s.
Post WWII war bonds gave the middle class rise, affording a house and car and vacation. You could raise a family and take care of others. We have too few righteous people willing to do good for others and the median household income in my city, the second most expensive in the United States is $88,000, and the average home is $820,000. I’m not sure what policies there are for this. But I rate the effect and give this a 1.
32. Government Enterprises: 3.0
During that last couple decades the federal government has spent about $70 billion on b subsidizing businesses, but this only went toward a few of the largest corporations. This took the small businesses out of competition as time went on. A positive example of government enterprise would be Financial Aid. This subsidy helps families afford for their children to go to school and receive an education. With a better educated population, our economic future will prosper because they are more prone to succeed occupationally and financially. It also helps out the government because less would rely on their aid as far as welfare. Since the government does not always spend it’s money positively, I rate this policy a 3.
http://www.governing.com/topics/finance/gov-companies-receiving-largest-federal-subsidies.html http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/education/higher-education-subsidies http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG
33. International Security Agreements: 4.0
The United States spends more money on its military than any other country in the world. Approximately $598.5 billion goes toward this sect every year. This combined with the alliance with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (which protects an alliance of 28 countries through political and military means) and many other treaties have created a barricade for our economic interests. There is also the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation which leads the Department of State’s effort to prevent the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction. While we are well protected, I think there needs to be a lower cap because we are spending too much, that’s why I rate this policy a 4.
https://www.nationalpriorities.org/campaigns/us-military-spending-vs-world/ http://www.state.gov/t/isn/ http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rt/nato/
34. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs: 2.0
With all the regulation, it’s really tough for small -mid level businesses survive. The annual cost of federal regulations in the United States increased to more than $1.75 trillion in 2008. Had every U.S. household paid an equal share of the federal regulatory burden, each would have owed $15,586 in 2008. Small employers have huge burdens in government mandated costs. The costs of these regulations result in higher prices, as design, location, wages, state sales tax etc. Our domestic business need protection from the government imposed costs.
DISCLAIMERAll the information and conclusions in each country analysis are solely the responsibility of the individual student and have not been verified, corrected, checked for copyright infringement or evaluated in any way by MIEPA or Mike P. McKeever. You are solely responsible for the results of any use you make of the information and conclusions in these studies. Use them at your own risk as interesting supplemental information only instead of seasoned judgements about the policy factors contained herein. Each student has granted permission for his or her work to be displayed here under his or her own name or wishes to remain anonymous and have either created a pen name or used no name at all; if you wish to contact them for any reason, forward your request to MIEPA and the student will be notified of your interest.
To learn more about other countries, click to other files here:
Return to MIEPA's Home Page
Return to MIEPA's Home Page list of country studies
Please place the acronym MIEPA in the subject line.