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America's Decaying Institutions

United States slipping in some very important measures of institutional quality.

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Many people, who worry about the state of America, are rightly worried about our national debt (close to $19 trillion) and America's unfunded liabilities (between $54 trillion and $86 trillion). These are serious concerns that will negatively impact living standards of future generations. Unfortunately, an even greater threat to posterity is posed by our decaying institutions. Since the start of the new millennium, the United States has been slipping in some very important measures of institutional quality. The presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama, it turns out, have been bad not only for our national fiscus, but also for such indicators of good government as control of corruption, government effectiveness and regulatory quality.