Tonight, Gov. Rick Perry and the other Republican presidential candidates continued waging war on government regulations, arguing that they're a huge reason why the economy is struggling.
But International Finance Corporation, a private sector investment group that's part of the World Bank, found that the United States is the 4th easiest country in the world to operate a business, just behind Singapore, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. From the New York Times:
Hong Kong beats the United States, but mainland China—that bugaboo of American employment protectionists—does not. Instead, China comes in 91st. Despite the higher regulatory burden, American-based multinational companies have increased their employment in China by 161,400 from 2007 to 2008, a gain of about 20 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. (The most recent data are for 2008.) In fact, American employment in China rose 77 percent in the prior decade, from 1998 to 2008.
India does even worse, with a ranking of 132nd...
As they have done in China, American companies have ratcheted up their employment in India by 43,000, or about 13 percent, from 2007 to 2008. From 1998 to 2008, the number of people in India working for American companies rose by 54 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In another measure of business climate and competitiveness put out by the World Economic Forum, the United States ranks fifth, again ahead of China (26), India (56) and a host of other countries where American companies are adding jobs.
Presumably, then, American companies are not attracted to these places because the business climate is more favorable.