Thanks in part to the U.S. government's recent spending binges, a group of Canadian authors say that Canada now has the better business environment. "If the United States continues on its current course," write Brian Lee Crowley, Jason Clemens, and Niels Veldhuis, "Canada will find itself without peer as a magnet for investment, immigrants, innovation, and growth." They make this prediction in their new book, The Canadian Century: Moving Out of America's Shadow.
But the issue isn't just fiscal overstretch by the United States. They point to what they call Canada's "redemptive decade" from 1988 to 1997, when politicians of all political stripes supported a program of free trade, trimming the extensive Canadian welfare state, and reducing both taxes and the government's debt burden. Despite some backsliding, those reforms will be the basis of Canada's prosperity, say the authors.
They're certainly right about the recent role reversal. In the latest issue of The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom, Canada ranks as the seventh freest economy in the world, one spot ahead of the United States. That's the first time Canada has been ahead of the United States in the rankings, and most of that switch is attributable to a declining U.S. score.
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