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US Economy: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How Black Friday Got Its Name
Why is Black Friday called Black Friday? It started out as a negative, but was later turned to a positive. Here's where the term came from.
Which President Added Most to the U.S. Debt?
How much each President actually contributed to the $18 trillion U.S. debt all the way back to Woodrow Wilson. Who added the most percentage-wise.
The History of Black Friday Started Earlier...
The history of Black Friday began in the 19th century. Here are the critical facts about laws, parades, and myths. Sales history since 2008.
Why You Don't Want to Miss Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday 2015 is on November 30. Sales rose 17% to $2 billion in 2014. This powerful economic trend exhibits one of the shifts in retail spending.
3 Reasons Why Black Friday Sales Aren't So Jolly
Black Friday is November 27, 2015, and the most important shopping day of the year. Here's why sales continue to be lackluster.
5 Steps to Get the Best Deals for Black Friday...
The best Black Friday deals are not on Black Friday. Here are 5 steps to find the best deals using social media, apps and products.
Which Presidents Rang Up the Highest Deficits?
The budget deficits for each President all the way back to President Woodrow Wilson. Presidents Bush and Obama had the highest deficits.
We Need NATO Now More Than Ever
NATO is an alliance of 28 members that agree to defend its North Atlantic members. NATO stands ready should France invoke Article 5.
12 Countries Agreed to the World's Biggest...
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) removes export barriers between the U.S. and 11 countries bordering the Pacific. Here's pros, cons and next steps.
How Much Did Obama Really Add to the Nation's...
The U.S. debt increased $7 trillion during the Obama Administration. But how much did Obamacare, the Stimulus and other programs really add?
See How the U.S. Debt Tripled Since 9/11
Here's national U.S. debt by year, compared to the size of the economy and whether there was a recession, war or other catastrophe.
Exactly How Much U.S. Debt Does China Own? And...
The U.S. debt to China is $1.270 trillion. Here's why America owes so much to China, and what happens if China calls in its loans.
The 4 Critical Stages of the Business Cycle
The business cycle is the four stages of expansion and contraction in an economy. What GDP to expect, causes, how it's controlled.
The 4 Types of Inflation
There are 4 types of inflation: creeping, walking, galloping and hyper. How cost-push and demand-pull cause them. Plus asset, core and wage inflation.
The Real Owner of the U.S. Debt Will Surprise You
The $18 trillion U.S. national debt is owned by Social Security, the Fed, and foreign investors. Here's the major owners as of June 2015.
What Happened During The Great Depression of...
The Great Depression of 1929 was a 10-year global economic crisis where world trade fell 65%. Here's causes, impact and chances of recurrence.
Is Obamacare Worth It?
Obamacare has many pros and cons. The ACA provides affordable insurance for some, and taxes others. Here's how it affects you.
How to Calculate the Year-Over-Year Growth Rate
Year-over-year measures statistical changes against the same time period last year.How to calculate, pros, cons and examples.
5 Determinants of Demand with Examples and...
The 5 determinants of demand are price, income, prices of related goods, tastes, and expectations. A 6th, for aggregate demand, is number of buyers.
Pros and Cons of International Trade
International trade is the exchange of goods and services between countries. Here's its importance to the U.S. economy, and its pros and cons.
How Central Banks Create Money Out of Thin Air
Monetary policy is how central banks manage liquidity to sustain a healthy economy. Here's its 2 objectives, the 2 policy types, and the tools used.
Where Is the Dollar's Value Headed Next?
The value of the U.S. dollar is measured in 3 ways: exchange rates, Treasury yields and foreign currency reserves. Here's what they're telling you.
3 Reasons Why America Is in Debt
The US debt is more than $18 trillion, the largest in the world. Here's the 3 reasons it grew so large, and how it damages U.S. economic growth.
3 Characteristics of a Traditional Economy
A traditional economy relies on hunting, fishing and agriculture. It's guided by traditions. Until the Depression, most of America was traditional.
3 Major Causes of Inflation
What causes inflation? The 3 real reasons are demand-pull, cost-push and monetary expansion. Here's what creates those conditions.
What Is the Current U.S. Federal Budget Deficit?
The U.S. Federal budget deficit will be $474 billion in FY 2016. That's a third of the all-time record deficit of $1.4 trillion, set in FY 2009.
What's the Difference Between Real and Nominal...
Real GDP is the economic output of a country with inflation taken out. Nominal GDP leaves it in. Here's the real GDP formula, and how it's used.
How High (or Low) Will Oil Prices Go?
Oil price forecasts from the EIA and the OECD for 2015 through 2040. Why they plummeted in 2014, and what happens next.
Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.0%
The unemployment rate for October 2015 fell to 5.0%. Here's the monthly unemployment rate statistics since April 2007.
What Is Trade Protectionism?
Trade protectionism is how countries raise tariffs and reduce imports to protect their domestic industries. Here's pros, cons and examples.
The best ways to solve high unemployment...
A summary of the most popular unemployment solutions, which ones work, and which are the most cost effective solutions.
The Key to Understanding What a Country Is Good...
GDP is the measurement of a country's total output. Here's how Gross Domestic Product is calculated, real vs nominal, and GDP vs GNP.
4 Causes of Unemployment
Unemployment is caused when someone is laid off, fired or quits -- and is still looking for a job.
The 1929 Stock Market Crash: How It Changed...
The Stock Market Crash of 1929 kicked off the Great Depression. Here's the facts behind this devastating crash, what caused it and its effects.
6 Negative Effects of NAFTA
NAFTA cost many workers their jobs in the U.S., and led to exploitation of workers in Mexico. Find out the 6 problems of NAFTA.
Black Monday Put Dow 16% Below All-Time High
The Dow historical closing high is 18,312.39 set on May 19, 2015. Here's the DJIA highs and lows during every business cycle since the Depression.
Whose Wars Are More Expensive? Bush or Obama?
The War on Terror cost nearly $1.7 trillion in supplemental spending alone. Here's the timeline of past and projected spending through 2016.
The Real Reason We're Sending American Jobs to...
The US trade deficit with China is the largest in the world, and a sign of global economic imbalance. Here's its causes, effects and remedies.
3 Reasons Why Americans Are in So Much Debt
Consumer debt rose 10% in September, totaling $3.499 trillion. Here's what's driving debt, and a record of debt by month since 2006.
5 Benefits of NAFTA You May Not Even Realize
The advantages of NAFTA for Mexico, Canada and the U.S. include quadrupling of trade, boosting growth and jobs for all three.
Federal Poverty Level: Definition, Guidelines,...
The 2015 Federal poverty level is the guideline that determines who can receive assistance. It's used for Medicaid, food stamps, and Obamacare.
How to Calculate the GDP Growth Rate
The GDP growth rate tells you how fast a county's economy is growing. It compares real GDP from one quarter to the next.
The Government Ends the Auto Industry Bailout....
The auto industry bailout of GM, Ford and Chrysler cost $80 billion, but most has been recovered. Here's what happened and whether it was worth it.
6 Factors That Make a Market Economy
A market economy is where production of goods and services are regulated by the laws of supply and demand. Here's pros, cons and examples.
Guess How Much America Spends on Defense
The US military budget is $763.9 billion once you add components hidden in other budgets. Here's the breakout since 2006.
The Strange Ups and Downs of the U.S. Economy...
U.S GDP by year measures the output of the U.S. economy during the years since the Great Depression. Compare to growth rate and GDP per capita.
4 Critical Drivers of America's Economy
The 4 components of GDP are personal consumption, business spending, government spending, and net exports. Explanation, statistics, formula, chart.
Halloween Retail Sales Trends Are Really Scary...
Halloween sales continue to trend down since the record set in 2012. Here's why, and what it means for Black Friday.
The Surprising Similarities Between Presidents...
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
What Is the History and Purpose of NAFTA?
NAFTA's purpose is to increase trade in North America. Its history began in 1981, when Ronald Reagan campaigned for this free trade zone..
What Is the American Dream Today?
The American Dream today has drifted far away from that envisioned by the Founding Fathers. Here's what it was, and what it should be.
5 Ways the American Dream Is Protected
The American Dream was first outlined in the Declaration of Independence, which legally protects each person's desire to pursue happiness.
Why 3 Out of 4 Presidents Agree That Expansiona...
Fiscal policy is how the government uses taxing and spending to expand or contract economic growth. How it differs from monetary policy.
Ways to Reduce the National Debt
The U.S. debt will not go away by pointing fingers and saying you fix it. We need to either raise taxes or cut spending.
How Reaganomics Cut Taxes, Increased Defense,...
Reaganomics promised to slash government spending and taxes to end stagflation and the 1980 recession. It worked, but at a cost.
It's the Most Interesting Interest Rate in the...
The Fed funds rate is the interest rate banks charge each other to borrow funds overnight to maintain the reserve requirement.
NAFTA Definitions: How It Works, Why It's...
NAFTA is the trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico. How it works, why its important, pros and cons, history.
Why the Dollar Is Worth So Much Less Than It...
The value of a dollar today is much lower than it was 100 years ago. In 1913, $1 could buy what $23.63 does today. Here's why.
Why Today's Low Interest Rates Create More...
Expansionary monetary policy is when a central bank increases the money supply to stimulate the economy. Here's its effects, with examples.
What Does the U.S. Import and Export?
The U.S. imported $2.744 trillion and exported $2.272 trillion in 2013. The biggest components of both are oil and consumer goods.
What You Need to Know About the World's Largest...
China's economy is the world's largest, thanks to being the #1 exporter. Here's causes, concerns, and impact on the United States.
How the 9/11 Attacks Still Damage the Economy...
The 9/11 attacks deepened the 2001 recession, led to the War on Terror, and helped create the largest debt in U.S. history.
What Made Katrina So Devastating
Hurricane Katrina was the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history. It struck both heavily-populated areas and Gulf oil fields.
The 3 Steps of Hillary's 2016 Economic Plan
Hillary Clinton's 2016 economic platform and how it would affect the U.S. economy. Summaries of prior economic policies. Brief bio.
What Is Demand-Pull Inflation?
Demand-pull inflation is the most common cause of inflation. It's when the demand for a good or service becomes much greater than supply, allowing producers to raise prices. Find out the circumstances that create demand-pull inflation as illustrated by examples.
How Would You Spend \$787 Billion?
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
What Is the Ideal GDP Growth Rate?
The ideal GDP growth rate is one that enable the economy to grow at a healthy rate. If growth is too fast, the economy risks inflation. If growth is too slow, the economy risks recession or even depression.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Direct...
Foreign direct investment, or FDI, is when businesses from one country invest in businesses in another one. How it works, pros, and cons.
Frictional Unemployment: Definition and Examples
Frictional unemployment is when workers voluntarily become unemployed while searching for a better job or moving for unrelated reasons.
What Command Economies Are Really Good At
A command economy subjugates individual self-interest to a greater societal or economic goals. It's great at mobilizing economic growth quickly.
How Much Is the Dollar Worth in 5 Other...
The U.S. dollar rate what a dollar is worth in another currency. Here's the forces affecting its rate vs the euro, rupee, pound and yen.
What Is Too Big to Fail?
Too big to fail describes companies that are so large, their bankruptcy could threaten the overall economy.
Here's Why Gold Will Drop Below \$1,000 Again
Gold price history was below $1,000 an ounce until 2009. Here's U.S. gold prices since 1929, and during the Roman Empire and Great Britain.
Use These 3 Harvard Business School Strategies...
Competitive advantage is what makes you better than anyone else. Here's the 3 strategies that work: cost leadership, differentiation and focus.
7 Pros and 7 Cons of Trade Agreements
Free trade agreements are hotly disputed. Here's the pros, cons and solutions.
What Is a Mixed Economy?
A mixed economy combines the advantages and disadvantages of market, command and traditional economies. Here's examples and U.S. status.
Not Everyone Who Is Jobless Is Unemployed
Unemployment is people who do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and are currently available for work.
What Has Obama Done?
What has Obama done? Here's his top 5 accomplishments, and how they've affected the U.S. economy. Compare his record to that of other Presidents.
Obamacare: Simple Enough to Explain to Your Kids
Obamacare explained in a way that's simple enough for even your kids. What you need to know to get the right plan for you and avoid the penalty.
What Makes the EU So Complex
The European Union (EU) is a single monetary entity comprised of 28 fiscally independent countries. How it works, stats, and history.
Why Do Interest Rates Ever Need to Rise?
Contractionary monetary policy is when central banks raise interest rates, reducing the money supply, to avoid inflation. How it works and examples.
How Black Tuesday Signaled the Start of the...
Black Tuesday (October 29, 1929) was the worst day of the 1929 stock market crash. Here's the facts, what caused it, and why no one could stop it.
Everything You Need to Know About Inelastic...
Inelastic demand is when the quantity bought doesn't change as much as the price does. How to calculate it, examples and 2 other types.
Understand the Boom and Bust Cycle
The boom and bust cycle is the economic expansion and contraction in the business cycle. Here's causes and recent history.
What Is the Public Debt?
The public debt is how much a government owes to creditors outside of itself. Here's pros and cons, how it's measured, and when it's too high.
Unlike the rest of us, the U.S. government...
The U.S. deficit adds to the debt each year, while interest on the debt increases the deficit. This spiraling cost will hurt economic growth.
8 Ways Dodd-Frank Makes the World Safer
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act regulates the practices of Wall Street to prevent another financial crisis. Here's a summary of the Act.
Did You Know the United States Has an Actual...
The U.S. debt clock tracks the national debt, which hit $18 trillion on 12/15/14. Find out its history, where it is, and other ways to track debt.
The Law of Demand Explained Using Examples in...
The law of demand states that the quantity bought depends on the price, ceteris paribus. Explanation using demand schedule, curve and determinants.
4 Reasons Why Monopolies Are Bad, and 1 Time...
A monopoly is the sole provider of a good or service. Here's 4 ways they prevent free trade, 1 reason they're needed, and their history in the U.S.
The 5 Causes of Cost-push Inflation
Cost-push inflation causes rising prices by driving up the costs of supply. It doesn't occur very often, but when it does, it's devastating.
Make Financial Markets Work for You
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, forex, derivatives and their exchanges.
The 9 Types of Unemployment: Which Is the Worst?
The 3 main types of unemployment are structural, frictional and cyclical. To get 5 types, add seasonal and classical. Here's all 9 types.
Read Up on the History of US Recessions
The history of U.S. recessions since the Great Depression. Their causes, length, GDP (original and revised), and unemployment.
Why the Government Can Run a Budget Deficit and...
A budget deficit occurs whenever a government spends more than it makes, which is nearly every year. Find out why and how it leads to debt.
The real reason the stock market crashed on...
Black Thursday in 1929 was the first day of the stock market crash that started the Great Depression. Here's facts about its causes and effects.
Understand the Greek Debt Crisis in 5 Minutes
The Greece debt crisis is a clash between the Eurozone's monetary and political system. Here's news, causes, and consequences.
Is the Government Lying About Unemployment?
The real unemployment rate includes discouraged and part-time workers. It's 9.8%, nearly double the official rate. Is the government lying?
How President Reagan Ended the 1980s Recession
A summary of President Ronald Reagan's economic policies, Reaganomics, supply-side economics and the recession of 1981.
What Is Black Monday?
Black Monday is the stock market crash in 1987, in 1929, and cyber monday. It's also the stock market correction in 2015.
5 Factors That Predict How Much Obamacare Will...
Your Obamacare costs depend on 5 factors: income, family size, age, location and type of plan. Here's what you must know before buying insurance.
When the Dollar Was Backed By Gold
A brief history of the gold standard, including when the U.S. went off the gold standard, and why.
How Multilateral Trade Agreements Boost Global...
Multilateral trade agreements are between three or more countries at once. Here's more on the WTO, GATT, Doha, and major U.S. agreements.
Will the U.S. Dollar Collapse or Is That Just...
Will the U.S. dollar collapse, and if so, when? Here's the causes, what happens if it did, and how to protect your finances.
The True Cause of Income Inequality in America
U.S. income inequality has worsened significantly in the past 30 years. What is the cause, what can be done about it, and how does it affect you?
Is the U.S. Deficit Really That Bad?
Here's Federal deficit by year, and what caused it.
What Are the Causes and Effects of a Trade...
The trade deficit is when a country imports more than it exports. Here's causes, effects, U.S. definition, and its role in the balance of payments.
The 3 Main Tools Central Banks Use to Control...
Central banks use 3 main tools: open market operations, discount rate and reserve requirement. Thanks to the Great Recession, there are now many more.
Demand, Not Money, Makes the World Go Round
Demand in economics is the quantity of goods and services bought at various prices during a period of time. Explanation of law, determinants, curve.
What 3 Things Really Drive Oil Prices?
Oil prices are determined by commodities market trading. The 3 factors that affect them are supply, demand and reserves.
What Is Inflation? Causes, Types and How It's...
Inflation is defined as when prices rise over an extended period of time. Here's what causes it, the different types, and how it's measured.
What Is Being Done to Control Inflation?
What is the Federal Reserve doing to control inflation? Find out the tools the Fed uses to manage inflation and even the expectation of inflation.
7 Things You Should Know About Outsourcing
Jobs outsourcing is how U.S. companies hire lower-paid workers in emerging markets instead of Americans.Here's the different types of outsourcing, and their impact.
How China and Other Communist Economies Work So...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition: Communism
Use the Dow to Predict the Stock Market
The Dow Jones Averages include the Industrial Average (DJIA), the Transportation Average and the Utility Average. Here's what they tell you.
How Will the Paris Attacks Affect the Euro?
The euro to dollar conversion is how many dollars a euro will buy. Here's why it fell to a 12-year low, and how that compares to prior years.
Does Boosting Supply Create Economic Growth?
Supply-side economics is a theory that recommends lower taxes and deregulation to increase supply of capital, jobs, labor and goods/services.
Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged
The FOMC meets 8 times a year. At its October 27-28 meeting, it said the economy wasn't strong enough to raise rates yet. Here's what it means.
What Real GDP per Capita Tells You About Your...
Real GDP per capita is the economic output of a country by person taking out the effect of inflation.
G20 Summit Responds to Paris Attacks
The G20 is a group of 20 nations that represent 85% of the global economy. The annual summit meetings address the world's crises.
Stagflation Ruined the 1970s. Can It Happen Now?
Stagflation is when economic growth stagnates while inflation rises. It only happens under unusual circumstances, like wage-price controls.
How Do Oil Prices Affect Gas Prices?
Crude oil prices affect 71% of gas prices. Here's how swings in oil prices affected gas prices from 2008 to the present.
11 Biggest Causes of a Recession
Economic recession is caused by many factors that then lead to a loss of confidence. Here's examples from the 2008, 2001 and prior recessions.
What Is Cyclical Unemployment?
Cyclical unemployment is when demand falls, and businesses lay off workers. Here's causes, effects, examples and solutions.
Why Capitalism Works in America Today
Capitalism is an economic theory where production is privately owned and distributed by the laws of supply and demand. Here's pros, cons and examples.
Why Retailers Felt the Love on Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day retail sales in 2015 are $18.9 billion, a new record. Here's who's buying what, and where they're buying it.
How Crude Oil Prices Affect the You and the...
Crude oil prices are the auction price for a barrel of oil at any given time. Here's how prices impact you and the economy, and recent trends.
Why It's Harder to Find A Job Now
Structural unemployment is defined as unemployment caused by a mismatch between jobs and skills, or other long-term changes in the economy.
What Are Interest Rates and How Do They Work?
A definition of interest rates, including the APR. How interest rates work to stimulate or slow economic growth.
The Warning Signs of a Recession
An economic recession is when growth slows, usually due to a fall-off in consumer demand. As sales drop off, businesses stop expanding.
Do Tax Cuts Create Jobs?
Across-the-board tax cuts are not the best way to create jobs. Payroll tax cuts that target new hires are the most effective.
What Caused the Depression, and Why It Won't...
An depression is several years of economic contraction. Here's the causes, how it was averted in 2008, and why it won't happen again.
Which Country Will Default Next?
The debt to GDP ratio is how much debt a country has incurred as a percentage of its total economic output as measured by GDP. Here's how it's used.
What Makes Oil Prices So High?
Oil prices in 2015 are rebounding from a 40% drop in 2014. Here's recent causes of high oil prices.
What You Should Know About the Dust Bowl and...
What was the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression, why did the Dust Bowl happen, and could the Dust Bowl happen again?
What You Really Need to Know About Obamacare
Obamacare is the Affordable Care Act. It requires you to have health insurance or pay a tax. Here's how it changes your life.
Fed Lowers Outlook for 2015
The U.S. economic outlook is expansion for 2015 and beyond. Here's the latest forecasts for GDP growth, job creation and oil production.
How the Fed Created Massive Amounts of Money
Quantitative Easing is when a central bank adds credit to its member banks' reserves in exchange for their securities. How it's worked.
Busting 5 Myths About Government Discretionary...
A summary of the current Federal Budget's discretionary spending programs, including Defense, Education, and NASA.
Will the World's Largest Trade Agreement Be...
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) removes export barriers between the U.S. and the EU. Here's impact, pros and cons.
What Has 7 Governors And 12 Presidents And...
The Federal Reserve System is America's central bank. It prevents inflation and reduces unemployment using monetary policy. Here's how it works.
The Real Reason Gold Prices Have Been Cut Since...
When gold prices are high, the economy is in crisis or inflation. When they're low, the economy is healthy. Here's the history, and how to invest..
What Did the Bank Bailout Bill Really Do?
What exactly was in the 2008 bank bailout bill, how much was actually spent, and how well it addressed the financial crisis.
What Are the Details of the American Recovery...
Details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as ARRA.
What Is Wrong With Obamacare?
What is wrong with Obamacare? Here's 11 problems the ACA has created, most of them unanticipated.
Where Bush and Obama Completely Disagree With...
Contractionary fiscal policy is cuts in government spending or increased taxation. Here's examples and how it works to cool down economic growth.
Obamacare in a Nutshell: Here's How it Affects...
An easy-to-understand summary of Obamacare and how it affects your particular circumstance.
October Retail Sales Up 0.1%
Retail sales were up 0.2% in August, pressured by declines in furniture, gas stations and building materials. Here's how it affects GDP.
3 Things You Should Know About Exchange Rates
Exchange rates determine how much the dollar, or any other foreign currency, is worth compared to another country's currency.
Elastic Demand: When the Amount Bought Really...
Elastic demand is when consumers are really sensitive to price changes for a good or service. Here's how to calculate it, examples, and other types.

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