Most people I know have iPods, drive high-horsepower automobiles with complex inner workings, and pay little attention to newspaper articles regarding oil, stocks, and debt. First off, nobody wants to think about the avalanche amount of debt that's accumulating and what it can do to an economy and second, it's just a safely lodged belief that the United States is the most powerful country in the world and will always beregardless of what the current economy seems to predict. In any case, this kind of confidence in American thought didn't sprout overnight; it's the product of over three hundred years of economic growth that put this nation at the forefront of the world stage
[...] The fact that when the Shanghai stock exchange in China crashed a month ago and the United States' market was heavily affected shows the impact a country with the highest stock of United States reserves can have. As China is the United States' biggest lender, the United States has to constantly raise interest rates in order to keep borrowing. This is a downward spiral and only puts the country into more debt. Sooner or later, lenders are going to realize that the United States can't possibly pay back all that it has borrowed and when they try to get rid of the dollars they're holding, the value of the dollar would plummet and the United States economy could enter a depression. [...]
[...] The United States steadily amassed wealth after World War II because pent-up consumer demand fueled exceptionally strong economic growth in that post-war period. A housing boom stimulated by affordable prices for war veterans added to the expansion. The baby boom increased the number of consumers and more Americans joined the middle class. The class structure of America was unique, as it was fluid and Americans embraced the idea of moneymaking, taking risks in business enterprises and enjoying the rewards of power that business success brought them. [...]
[...] The United States industry dominates world production in computers, chemicals, industrial machinery, and so on, all of which require more educated individuals. The increase in number of students going to college and graduate school allows the United States to keep up with its inventions and technology and compete internationally and make U.S. goods attractive. In the late twentieth century, the United States began to steadily accumulate deficits as the high-tech economy became very dependent on oil. At the same time, the country's import-export ratio was grossly disproportional. [...]
[...] Transportation played perhaps the most significant role, as it continuously allowed new markets to open and allowed the United States to have extensive markets that produced on large scales but at low per unit costs. This eventually made the United States a producer with the highest volume of goods, but at low costs, thereby making the country a fierce competitor and attractive investment. In 1800, the United States was producing of the world's manufactured output and the per capita GDP increased from five hundred dollars to eight hundred. [...]
[...] Between the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the population jump from one million to five million increased the scale of production, as people were making use of more available resources. However, during that time, the mix of products coming out was still the same. That is, farming was still the backbone of the economy and was the only source of income for many colonists. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in billions of dollars at the time was though it would jump to 4 in the nineteenth century. [...]
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