Jeffrey Gedmin and Nathan Gamester take to the Wall Street Journal op-ed page to make two points. One is that their U.K.-based rightwing thinktank has a new “Prosperity Index” to help measure the overall awesomeness of different countries. The other is that to halt America’s slide on the Index, we need to vote for Mitt Romney since “if elections were decided by data, today’s findings would spell trouble for President Obama.”
But what does the data say? It says the Top 10 countries in the world are Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Ireland. In other words, countries that—like the United States—combine market economies with welfare states. Except these countries basically all stand out for having more generous welfare states than the United States. When the Affordable Care Act is up and running, we’ll have a health care system for the elderly that’s similar to Canada’s and one for the non-elderly that’s similar to the Dutch or Swiss systems. To obtain something like Danish or Swedish public policy you’d need to elect some politicians who are much more left-wing than Barack Obama.