I'll Take the Lesser Evil for $400, Alex

Was McCain right about the economy yesterday when the crisis got so bad he suspended his campaign? Or was he correct last week when he said the economy was “fundamentally strong?” Let’s ask Max Boot:

What the pessimists ignore is that the fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong. [Oh. -ed.] Indeed, the World Economic Forum has ranked the United States as the world’s most competitive economy for the past two years. (The new survey comes out in October.) Its statistics show that per-capita gross domestic product in the U.S. consistently has grown faster than in other developed economies since 1980.

Looking deeper at the causes of American competitiveness shows that we score especially strongly not only in domestic market size (No. 1 in the world) but also in such areas as time required to start a business (No. 3), venture capital availability (No. 1), the cost of firing an employee (No. 1), ownership of personal computers (No. 2), university/industry research collaboration (No. 1) and quality of scientific research institutions (No. 2).

But it’s not all good news. Boot also notes that the US economy suffers from “high tax rates and cumbersome tax regulations.”

Both candidates promise more regulation, if only by example. Only one, however, has threatened us with higher taxes, no matter what the ramifications might be.