The Case for the United States

August 25, 2011

Originally Posted on August 8, 2011

There is a lot of America “bashing” going on right now. Some of the criticism is deserved, some is very debatable. Much of the criticism is from within, and now even from competitor nations. Our challenges are extraordinary, but so is our ability to address the challenge. The recent budget debate in Washington and the challenges that states, cities, and families are coming to grips with are extremely difficult.

In the midst of all of this, there are countless reasons I believe the prospects for America are better than they have ever been when you look at the global playing field. I decided to take a look for some key rankings and indicators that would provide some perspective. What I found was both confidence building and thought provoking. Here are just a few reasons why I believe our American market is still the best large market in the world to do business.

Market Transparency/Liquidity
Smart investors always have an exit strategy. Many of the companies our team works with consider their investments carefully and are as concerned about the day they will depart their site as they day they sign the agreement. Companies want to know that if their business changes in three, five, or even 20 years, that they have the flexibility to sell or lease their building in order to adjust to a dynamic marketplace. Capital flows will tend to be directed to the safest and most liquid assets. While there are differences from region to region, North America provides more liquidity shore to shore than any other market in the world. Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index ranks America as one of the most transparent markets in the world (Australia is number one). None of the BRIC countries are on this list. It highlights the important differences you experience when transacting, owning and operating in foreign markets. It also provides governments and industry organizations with a point of reference to measure and improve transparency within their own markets. America offers transparency in its real estate market, its banking sector, and its legal system.

Market Size/Access/Competitiveness
The World Economic Forum ranks the United States as the most competitive market in the world. While markets like India, China, Brazil, and even Africa have huge populations and increasing buying power, there is no bigger market in the world with the stability of the United States. We have a huge and lucrative market for consumer goods, healthcare products, energy and environmental products and services, and an appetite for technology. While many of the competitors above have this to some degree, none of them have the ability to design, develop, manufacture, and deliver goods in such a cost effective manner. America’s logistics infrastructure is unmatched, and while clearly investments need to be made to upgrade this, it is still the most pervasive. It is as easy to move goods through North Dakota as it is in Ohio. No one is trying to hijack your truck and your ability to get from point to point is unparalleled.

America’s Got Talent
Heidrick and Struggles and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Talent Index finds that “The US is the stellar GTI performer, Ranking first in 2011 and 2015. The US lead is almost one full point (on a 1-10 scale) in both years over the next best performers. The country’s foremost strengths are the excellence of its universities, the high overall quality of its existing workforce and a meritocratic environment that is relatively unencumbered by restrictive labor regulation.”

Columbus2020! Update
Congratulations to Dublin in securing the headquarters location of one of the icons of our Region’s history – Wendy’s. This announcement sends a powerful message about the Columbus Region’s ability to serve as a headquarters location. Additionally, Grove City announced a new company location which is a competitive “win” for this Region. Both companies will create new jobs in the Columbus Region, put people to work, and contribute greatly to the community as a whole.

Our team will be in St. Louis with its partners this week, and is readying itself for a very busy fall “season.”