Fire Away

| Wed Sep. 24, 2008 1:18 PM EDT

FIRE AWAY....Max Boot says that America is still fundamentally strong and will bounce back from its current economic woes. I think he's right about that — though with the caveat that we probably have some tough times ahead as we wind down our current account deficit, as we have to. But then he tells us exactly why America's economy is such a winner:

Looking deeper at the causes of American competitiveness shows that we score especially strongly not only in domestic market size (No. 1 in the world) but also in such areas as time required to start a business (No. 3), venture capital availability (No. 1), the cost of firing an employee (No. 1), ownership of personal computers (No. 2), university/industry research collaboration (No. 1) and quality of scientific research institutions (No. 2).

Italics mine. Look: I'm on board with the idea that many European countries make it so hard to fire employees that it ossifies their economies and hurts growth. Some of their rules pass understanding. Still, is it really something to be proud of that America is the easiest country in the whole world in which to get fired from your job? No wonder Boot's party still can't escape the shadow of Herbert Hoover.

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