It was amusing, and more than a little disheartening, to see the swarm of commentators putting digit to key in recent weeks in response to the latest Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum – a list ranking the world’s nations from most economically competitive to the worst.
From the ‘Top 10 competitive economies’ to ‘the worst economies in the world’, analysis tended more towards either celebration or recrimination over a nation’s respective placement on the list. ‘Are we more competitive than last year? If not, who’s to blame and what can we do about it?’
Absent as always from the discussion was any reflection on what this race for competitiveness actually means. Why has competitiveness become the major measure of value for national performance? What happens if we follow the race to it’s conclusion? Who or what gets left behind when economic competitiveness is pursued more vigorously than, say, climate change agreement or tax regulation?
In my latest piece for the Huffington Post I seek to address some of those questions, and look towards a more cooperative alternative.