A short time ago, a Swiss-based international research organization found the U.S. once again had the world's most competitive economy, having ended Japan's eight-year hold on first place. It figures, because-not although, because-so many sages had been assuring us so recently that we could never meet Japanese competition unless we turned ourselves into imitation Japanese. Connoisseurs of economic nonsense will be surprised only that this bit of dogma was refuted so quickly. It usually takes somewhat longer for a universal belief about the economy to be exposed as false and to mutate into another that, alas, will usually be just as...

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