When it comes to America-hating rhetoric and bashing the values held by the majority of the citizens of the United States, Fox News takes a back seat to no one. Despite the diversity and tolerance of American society, Fox has made it their mission to inject bitter animus into the national family in order to create division and contempt. That’s why, in the Fox mindset, reproductive choice is murder, tax fairness for the wealthy is class warfare, affordable health insurance is communism, and an African-American president is a Marxist dictator who is unfit – even ineligible – to hold the office.
Nevertheless, it still comes as some surprise to find out what Fox regards as the utopian business model for the United States. In their feverish obsession for unfettered, free-market capitalism (which even the Pope recently condemned), Fox has long advocated the repeal of virtually every regulation they stumbled over. The Fox/Tea Party economic environment would be a chaotic anarchy where multinational corporations would rule with loyalty to nothing but their bottom line. It is that philosophy that is represented in their article that promotes, and distorts, a survey by the World Bank that ranked countries for their business friendliness.
The critical lesson from the data as analyzed by Fox, is expressed in their headline that laments that the “US ranks behind Rwanda, Belarus, Azerbaijan in ease of creating new business.” The inescapable conclusion is that the U.S. would be better off if it were more like Rwanda and the other third-world nations whose governments are too weak to provide any order or law or protection for its citizens who engage in business.
Setting aside the ludicrous notion that the U.S. should look to Rwanda for inspiration, the real problem with the analysis of the data is that it is comparing the U.S. to 189 other countries with which it has little in common. A more rational analysis would limit the comparison to other nations with large populations and high GDP. The World Bank’s website conveniently allows just such a comparison by filtering the list to include only those first-world countries in the Organization for Co-operation and Economic Development (OCED).
In the unfiltered list of all 189 countries, the U.S. comes in at 20th for “starting a business,” which isn’t really that bad out of 189. But when filtering the list to remove countries like Rwanda that tell us nothing about our place internationally, the U.S. jumps to number six. In fact, in the aggregate results for all eleven of the categories that the World Bank ranked (i.e. construction permits, credit, taxes, etc.), the U.S. is number two, behind New Zealand.
The question is: Why would Fox News want to deliberately misconstrue the survey to portray America as a third-rate loser in the world community? For the same reason they disparage everything else about this country that they despise. Contrary to Fox’s incessant whining about freedom and liberty, these are principles that they believe should only be available to corporations and the wealthy. It is in the interest of Fox conservatism to rebuke America as unfriendly to business in order to lobby for the elimination of the regulatory structure that they regard as impeding the liberty of the industrial class.
By misrepresenting the World Bank’s data, Fox has proven once again that they are more interested in advancing a rightist agenda than in informing their audience. And the direction in which they want to push America is one that will be distinctly unpleasant for most Americans, as demonstrated in this brilliant travelogue for the Tea Party vacation paradise of Somalia: