Northern Europe in general leads the top developed nations. Should they become more as the US, or should the US become more as they are?
What's gone into "The Global Competitiveness Report 2012 - 2013 - The World Economic Forum":
Basic requirements [most required by developing nations]:
3. Macroeconomic environment
4. Health and primary education
5. Higher education and training
6. Goods market efficiency
7. Labor market efficiency
8. Financial market development
9. Technological readiness
10. Market size
Innovation and sophistication [most important to the most developed]:
11. Business sophistication
To measure these concepts, the GCI uses statistical data such as enrollment rates, government debt, budget deficit, and life expectancy, which are obtained from internationally recognized agencies, notably the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the IMF, and the World Health Organization (WHO). ... Furthermore, the GCI uses data from the World Economic Forum’s annual Executive Opinion Survey (Survey) to capture concepts that require a more qualitative assessment or for which internationally comparable statistical data are not available for the entire set of economies.
What does the report say about the US? Basically, it can be summed up as follows:
Switzerland #1 in Global Competitiveness Report; U.S. Drops Two Spots to 7th
This continues the U.S. decline in the rankings for the fourth year in a row, with business leaders continuing to raise concerns about a lack of government efficiency among other macroeconomic issues.
If the US wants to be #1 as rated by The World Economic Forum, it has a great deal of improving to do.