Stability and Predictability of Government, Markets, etc.

The United States enjoys a distinct advantage over most developing nations with respect to government stability and predictability and is at least on a par with most developed nations in this regard. Some recent events notwithstanding, consumer and financial markets, at least when compared with those of some other nations, are remarkably reliable and transparent. In terms of “Overall Risk of Doing Business,” the United States has the 13th most favorable rating of 186 nations according to Euromoney.70

Availability of Transportation and Telecommunications

In most forms of transportation the United States is well served (e.g., 4.0 million miles of roads vs. 2.2 million in China; 15,095 airports vs. 482 in China, 349 in India and 1,216 in Russia).71 However, as previously noted, this is not the case in broadband telecommunications where, in terms of density, the United States ranks 22th among the world’s nations.72

Market Growth Potential

As discussed elsewhere, there can be important business advantages—although decreasing as global mobility increases—to be derived from locating factories near potential customers; engineering facilities near factories; and research laboratories near engineering facilities. Given the huge United States consumer market throughout most of the twentieth century, this has been a fundamental competitiveness discriminator possessed by United States firms. However, the United States is now a relatively mature market, the size advantage of which is being eroded or even eclipsed as a large middle-class evolves in developing nations. Speaking of Wal-Mart’s shifting focus toward nations other than the United States, Dean Junkans, chief investment officer for PNC Wealth Management, noted that, “The U.S. consumer is tired” … not to mention outnumbered.73 It is estimated that within a decade 80 percent of the world’s middle-class will reside in what are now

70

Country Risk 2010: A Fragile Sense of Stability, Euromoney, March 2010.

71

See CIA World Factbook, available at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.

72

S. Dutta and I. Mia, Global Information Technology Report 2009–2010: ICT for Sustainability, World Economic Forum, 2010.

73

Y.Q. Mui, As growth in the U.S. slows, Wal-Mart puts more emphasis on foreign stores, The Washington Post, June 8, 2010.



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