from the world's big
Singapore overtakes U.S. as world's most competitive economy
But the U.S. remains an "innovation powerhouse," according to the annual report from the World Economic Forum.
- Singapore topped the World Economic Forum's annual list due, in part, to its strong infrastructure, labor markets and health markers.
- The U.S. ranked in second place, but was named the world's most competitive large economy.
- The report also found that some Asian nations seem to be benefitting from the U.S.-China trade war.
Singapore has overtaken the U.S. as the world's most competitive economy, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The WEF published on Wednesday its annual Global Competitiveness Report, which measures 103 economic indicators within 12 broad pillars, such as macroeconomic stability, infrastructure, the labor market and innovation capability. The U.S. ranked in second place out of the 141 countries on the list, but the WEF noted that the U.S. remains an "innovation powerhouse" and the world's most competitive large economy.
The U.S. lost rank in 2019 in part because Americans lack the job skills necessary in the 21st century, and because of decreased "healthy life expectancy." (For context, life expectancy in the U.S. peaked at 79 in 2014, before which the measure had risen for years. In 2018, China overtook the U.S. in life expectancy.)
Meanwhile, Singapore scored 84.8 out of 100 on the annual index, ranking first in the categories of infrastructure (95.4), health (100), and labor markets (81.2). Since industrializing in the 1960s, Singapore has evolved into a high-income nation, alongside the other Asian Tiger economies. Today, the city-state's economy is driven by its business-friendly regulatory environment, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and high levels of foreign investment.
"Singapore improves from an already high base on 10 of the 12 pillars, and its score on every pillar is between 4 and 19 points higher than the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average," the WEF said.
The report also found that some Asian nations seem to be benefitting from the U.S.-China trade war.
"For example, Vietnam used to be at 77 last year. This year, it's at 67," said Saadia Zahidi, head of the WEF's Center for the New Economy and Society. "That 10-rank increase is in part because the economy has been able to use the current situation in terms of the trade war to attract some of the investments to be able to become a little bit more of a regional trading hub."
But Zahidi noted that there's not yet enough data to know how the trade war might be impacting competitiveness in the region.
The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC.
The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC. Until you look at the title to the land. The federal government owns large tracts of the western states: from a low of 29.9% in Montana, already more than the national average, up to a whopping 84.5% in Nevada.
Researchers are using technology to make visual the complex concepts of racism, as well as its political and social consequences.
- Often thought of first as gaming tech, virtual reality has been increasingly used in research as a tool for mimicking real-life scenarios and experiences in a safe and controlled environment.
- Focusing on issues of oppression and the ripple affect it has throughout America's political, educational, and social systems, Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn of Columbia University School of Social Work and her team developed a VR experience that gives users the opportunity to "walk a mile" in the shoes of a black man as he faces racism at three stages in his life: as a child, during adolescence, and as an adult.
- Cogburn says that the goal is to show how these "interwoven oppressions" continue to shape the world beyond our individual experiences. "I think the most important and powerful human superpower is critical consciousness," she says. "And that is the ability to think, be aware and think critically about the world and people around you...it's not so much about the interpersonal 'Do I feel bad, do I like you?'—it's more 'Do I see the world as it is? Am I thinking critically about it and engaging it?'"
President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.
A new coronavirus vaccine on display at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/ Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP
Medical workers draw blood from volunteers participating in a trial of a coronavirus vaccine at the Budenko Main Military Hospital outside Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP
A report from the New York Times raises questions over how the teletherapy startup Talkspace handles user data.