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US Economy: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Why You Should Know Difference Between Real and...
Real GDP is the economic output of a country with the effects of inflation taken out while nominal GDP leaves it in. Here's how to calculate real GDP.
3 Characteristics of a Traditional Economy
A traditional economy relies on hunting, fishing and agriculture for its base, and is guided by traditions. A large part of the United States was in a traditional economy until the Great Depression.
The Key to Understanding What a Country Is Good...
GDP is the measurement of a country's total output. Here's how it's used, what's included, how it differs from GNP, real vs nominal GDP, & per capita.
How the Effects of the 9/11 Attacks Continue to...
The 9/11 attacks had long-ranging economic impacts. Not only did they deepen the 2001 recession, they led to the War on Terror. These costs helped create the largest debt in U.S. history.
Guess Which President Added the Most to the...
How much each President actually contributed to the $17 trillion U.S. debt all the way back to President Woodrow Wilson.
The 4 Critical Stages of the Business Cycle
Definition of a business cycle, including the four stages. The economic indicators to watch. What GDP growth rate you should expect in each phase.
Are We in for a U.S. Dollar Collapse or Is That...
Is the U.S. dollar in danger of an imminent collapse? Find out what would cause it, what would happen next, and the best way to protect your finances.
3 Ways to Measure the Value of the U.S. Dollar
The value of the U.S. dollar can be measured in three ways - exchange rates, Treasury yields and foreign currency reserves. A
Is Obamacare Worth It?
Obamacare has many pros and cons because it affects everyone differently. Find out what both sides say so you can make up your own mind.
How Obamacare Makes The Federal Poverty Level...
The Federal poverty level is the guideline that determines who can receive assistance. It sometimes refers to the poverty threshold, the number of poor.
How the National Debt Tripled Since 9/11
Here's national debt by year, compared to the size of the economy and whether there was a recession, war or other catastrophe.
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.
How Does the Federal Government Define a Fiscal...
Fiscal Year (FY) differentiates an organization's financial year from the calendar year. The Federal government FY 2014 began 10/1/2013, and FY 2015 starts 10/1/2014.
What is a Command Economy, and What Are Its...
A command economy subjugates individual self-interest to a greater societal or economic goals. It's great at mobilizing economic growth quickly.
How Does Your Credit Card Debt Compare to the...
The average credit card debt per American is $3,617 as of July 2014. Here's how that compares to the past, and what it means about the economy.
What Does the U.S. Import and Export?
Two of the largest components of U.S. imports are oil and consumer goods, which are also its biggest exports.
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.
What You Really Need to Know About Obamacare
Obamacare is the Affordable Care Act. In a nutshell, it requires you to have health insurance or pay a tax. Here's what you need to know now to avoid it.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Direct...
Foreign direct investment, or FDI, is when businesses from one country invest in businesses in a foreign country. How it works, and the pros and cons.
The 4 Major Things the U.S. Is Good at Producing
What are the four major components of GDP? Find out what makes up those components, and why personal consumption drives nearly 70% of the economy.
How the Federal Reserve Created Massive Amounts...
Quantitative Easing explained, including QE1, QE2, QE3, QE4 and Operation Twist. Why the Federal Reserve adopted this policy and how it works.
How Much the U.S. Spends on Defense Will...
The FY 2015 US Military Budget is $495.6 billion, second only to Social Security. The true cost is $738.8 billion. Why it's so high, and how it's grown since 2006.
What Is Trade Protectionism?
Trade protectionism is how countries try to protect their domestic industries by raising tariffs and reducing imports. Here's pros, cons and examples.
What You Should Know in Case of US Economic...
A U.S. economic collapse could occur within weeks, as it almost did on September 17, 2008. Several things could cause it, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
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,
3 Major Causes of Inflation
There are three major causes of economic inflation: demand-pull, cost-push and monetary expansion. Here's what creates those conditions.
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.
Why the Dollar Is Worth So Much Less Than It...
Why the value of a dollar today keeps shrinking. How to calculate the value of a dollar.
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 Auto Industry Bailout: Why, How and What It...
The specifics of the auto bailout received by GM, Ford and Chrysler. What the Big 3 promised to give back in return. How it affected the economy.
What Is a Mixed Economy?
A mixed economy seeks to combine the advantages of market, command and traditional economies. Examples.
What Happened During The Great Depression of...
What caused and finally ended the Great Depression of 1929. Life and unemployment during the depression.
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.
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.
Causes and Effects of the 1929 Stock Market Crash
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.
How to Calculate an Economy's Year-Over-Year...
Definition of the year-over-year growth rate, how to calculate it, and why using it gives a better sense of a trend than comparing month to month.
What is the History and Purpose of NAFTA?
NAFTA's purpose was to increase trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Find out the history of NAFTA, and whether its achieved its purpose.
What more your elected officials COULD be doing...
A definition of fiscal policy with links to descriptions of the components of fiscal policy, including revenue, taxes, mandatory spending, discretionary spending, and the budget deficit.
Why Was Katrina the Most Destructive Natural...
Why was Katrina the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history? It struck the heavily-populated City of New Orleans and the Gulf oil fields.
Obamacare: Simple Enough to Explain to Your Kids
Obamacare explained in a way that's simple enough for even your kids. The basic facts that you need to know now.
How the World's Largest Trade Agreement Reduced...
The advantages of NAFTA for Mexico, Canada and the U.S. include an increase in trade which has contributed to economic growth.
How Gas Prices Get High
High gas prices are caused by futures investments, not supply and demand. Find out why prices are high, and why they rose from 2008 to the present.
Why the EU Is So Complicated to Run
The European Union (EU) is one of the largest economies in the world. Here's how it's similar to, and different from, the U.S.
Elastic Demand
Elastic demand is when a price change creates a larger percentage change in the quantity demanded.
Is the U.S. Headed Towards the Second Great...
Recent news developments lead many to believe another depression is inevitable if it hasn't started already. Here's the arguments pro and con. Page 2.
Why Do We Need NATO Now More Than Ever?
NATO is an alliance of 28 members that agree to defend its North Atlantic members. It's being called into action thanks to the crisis in Ukraine.
The Real Owner of the U.S. National Debt Will...
Who owns most of the U.S. national debt? Surprise... it's not China, it's the U.S. government. That means it's the American taxpayer, which is you!
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?
How Would You Spend \$787 Billion?
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
10 Reasons Why the U.S. Economy Won't Collapse
Here's 10 reasons why the U.S. economy isn't in imminent danger of collapsing.
8 Ways the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act...
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.
How Bad Is the Unemployment Rate Right Now?
The unemployment rate for August 2014 fell to 6.1%. Here's the current and original unemployment rate statistics for every month since April 2007.
The 4 Types of Inflation
There are 4 main types of inflation, from creeping to hyperinflation. In addition, there's stagflation, deflation, as well as wage and asset inflation (food, gas and oil). Core inflation is used by the Federal Reserve to control them all.
Why Does China Own So Much American Debt?
The U.S. debt to China in August 2013 was $1.268 trillion, 23% of the debt owned by foreigners. Find out why America is in debt to China, and what would happen if China called in its loans.
How Capital Goods Drive Business Success
Capital goods are the machinery, equipment and buildings used by businesses to create supply. Find examples and how it differs from consumer goods.
Why Mexico's Economy Is Growing Faster Than You...
Mexico's economy is becoming more attractive to investors, as President Pena Nieto opens up its energy industries.
What Is the World's Largest Economy?
The EU is the world's largest economy, while the U.S. is the country with the largest economy. Those two leaders are followed by China, India and Japan.
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.
The Dow Sets More New Records - But There's a...
The Dow historical closing high is 17,265.99 set September 18, 2014. Here's the DJIA highs and lows during every business cycle since the Depression.
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.
Everything You Need to Know About Inelastic...
Inelastic demand is when people's buying habits don't respond very much to changes in the price.
What Does Liquidity Mean in Terms of Investment...
Liquidity is the amount of capital available, and how easily it can be used. Here's how central banks and businesses manage liquidity.
How the Nation's Most Powerful Bank Controls...
The Federal funds rate is the target interest rate banks charge each other to borrow funds overnight to maintain the Federal reserve requirement. The Fed funds rate is critical because it dictates the availability of capital in the economy. That's how the Federal Reserve uses the Fed funds rate is to manage the U.S. economy, especially inflation.
5 Factors That Predict How Much Obamacare Will...
Your Obamacare costs depends on 5 factors: income, family size, age, location and type of plan. Here's what you need to know before buying insurance.
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.
How the Consumer Price Index Measures the Price...
The Consumer Price Index (CPI Index) measures inflation each month. Here's how it's calculated and the importance of the Core CPI.
How Diversity at Work Makes You More Money
The definition of cultural diversity, and why it matters in the workplace. How diversity, if managed correctly, can increase profits.
What Is the Current U.S. Federal Budget Deficit?
The U.S. Federal budget deficit will be $564 billion in FY 2015. That's a third of the all-time record deficit of $1.4 trillion, set in FY 2009.
What is The U.S. National Debt and How Did It...
The US debt, at $17 trillion, is the largest in the world. Its grew so much because the Federal government kept spending, but interest rates on Treasuries stayed low.
How Do Treasury Notes Affect Your Mortgage Rates?
Mortgages rates have been rising since falling to a 200-year low in 2012 . Here's how falling demand for U.S. Treasury notes makes sure that continues.
What Has 7 Governors And 12 Presidents And...
The Federal Reserve System is America's central bank. Its dual-mandate is to prevent inflation and reduce unemployment using monetary policy. Here's how.
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.
What Is LIBOR and How Does It Affect You?
The LIBOR rate is what banks charge each other for short-term loans. It's determined by ICE from a survey of banks. It hovers near the Fed funds rate.
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.
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.
What Are the Causes and Effects of a Trade...
The trade deficit is when a country imports more than it exports. Find out the causes, the effects, and the difference from a trade surplus.
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.
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 NASDAQ and what does it mean
NASDAQ definition including what the acronym stands for. NASDAQ bubbles and crashes. The difference between NASDAQ, Dow and S&P 500.
How the Gold Standard Made the Great Depression...
A brief history of the gold standard, including when the U.S. went off the gold standard, and why.
The Difference Between Dollar Decline and...
Will the chronic dollar decline cause a collapse? How to protect yourself from it.
Interesting Facts about China and Its Economy
China's growing economy makes it a major influence on the U.S. economy. China's low standard of living allows it to export cheaply, keeping U.S. inflation low. China is the largest foreign buyer of U.S. Treasuries, which keeps U.S. interest rates low. Find out how the economies of China and the U.S. are interdependent.
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 contributed the most to the debt.
How the War on Terror Actually Escalated Under...
The War on Terror costs nearly $1.5 trillion from FY 2001-FY 2014. That's on top of the costs to run the Department of Defense, the VA and Homeland Security.
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. But there's really 9 types in all.
How bad it can get when exports don't equal...
The balance of trade is the difference between a country's exports and its imports. Balance of trade vs payments. Dangers of trade surplus. Components
The 5 unlikely crcumstances that create...
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.
Read Up on the History of US Recessions
The history of U.S. recessions since the Great Depression. Their causes, length, levels of GDP (original and revise), and unemployment rates.
Why structural unemployment is rising
Structural unemployment is defined as unemployment caused by a mismatch between jobs and skills, or other long-term changes in the economy.
Why Deflation Is More of a Hidden Threat to You...
Deflation is when prices fall. Here are causes, how it's measured, how it's stopped, and why it's worse than inflation. Japan as an example.
What Is GDP Per Capita?
GDP per capita is the economic output (Gross Domestic Product) of a country by person. Compare the 2013 rankings for the ten richest and ten poorest countries using GDP per capita.
How Inflation Impacts Your Life
The consequences of inflation and the effects of inflation on buying power.
When Rates on Short-term Loans Are Higher Than...
An inverted yield curve is when interest rates on short-term loans are higher than the ones on long-term loans. Here's why that predicts a recession.
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.
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.
Top 6 Ways to Find Out How the Economy Is...
These 6 signs tell you how the economy is doing right now, and whether it's about to get worse.
Why Banking is a Key Driver of the U.S. Economy
What is banking? The definition of banking, its critical role in the US economy, and how that has changed.
Make Financial Markets Work for You
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities derivatives and their exchanges.
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?
What Is the Euro to US Dollar Conversion?
The euro to dollar conversion is how many dollars a euro will buy. On September 4 the euro dropped 1%, to $1.2954, when the ECB announced QE Lite.
Why Treasury Yields Fall When Demand Rises
U.S. Treasury yields are determined by demand for the bonds themselves. As the bond prices rise, the yield falls. Here's why, and an outlook.
The Top 3 Most Important Types of Market Cap
Market cap is a company's stock prices times the number of shares outstanding. Here's the 3 types, top 20 companies and how to use market cap.
3 Important Factors That Determine Oil Prices
Oil prices are determined by commodities market trading. The 3 factors that affect them are supply, demand and reserves. How that affects traders' perceptions.
How Central Banks Create Money Out of Thin Air
Monetary policy manages inflation and unemployment by controlling interest rates and the supply of money and credit. It is directed by a nation's central bank.
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.
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.
Is There Really Any Difference Between Treasury...
Treasury bills, bonds and notes have different maturities. Notes are issued at 2,3,5 and 10 years. Treasury notes fund the U.S. debt.
How Mortgage-Backed Securities Work Differently...
Mortgage-backed securities are tradeable assets backed by mortgages, allowing banks more cash to make loans. All went well, until housing prices fell.
The Government Revised Economic Growth Up to...
The economy rebounded an astonishing 4.2% from the first quarter's downturn. Check here to find BEA revisions in GDP going back to 2011.
How Are Interest Rates Determined?
Interest rates are determined by the Fed funds rate and demand for U.S. Treasury notes.
What Is a Current Account Deficit?
A current account deficit occurs when a country has to rely on foreign investors to fund its economic growth. Find out the causes and consequences of a current account deficit.
What Is Hyperinflation?
Hyperinflation is double-digit inflation. It usually caused by a government policy of printing too much money. There's a big difference between hyperinflation and inflation.
How Yield Curves Predict the Future (Pssst!...
The U.S. Treasury yield curve compares the yields of short-term Treasury bills with long-term Treasury notes. Here's how to use this to predict the future.
12 Million Americans Earn \$77,060/Year in...
Manufacturing jobs create new products from raw materials. They pay well, but are disappearing thanks to robotics.
4 facts about the future you need to know now
The Fed's latest outlook says the economy will grow between 2.1 - 2.3% in 2014. Here's what other agencies say about growth, job creation and oil production.
What Does Gross National Product Say About a...
Gross National Product (GNP) is the total economic output of a country's citizens and companies, no matter where they are located.
Compare today's unemployment with the past
The unemployment rate varies with the business cycle. Find out how the government has tried to reduce unemployment since 1929, what's worked and what hasn't.
Why being unemployed and jobless are two...
Not every jobless person is counted as unemployed. That's why you must know the difference between real, natural and structural unemployment.
U.S. Trade Deficit with China
The US trade deficit with China is the largest in the world, and a symptom of global economic imbalance. Find out why there a deficit, and what is being done to correct it.
3 Types of Securities and How They Affect the...
Securities are stocks, bonds and other investments. They allow ownership of without taking physical possession and are highly liquid.
\$1 of NASA Spending Drives \$10 of Economic...
How much does NASA cost? What's the impact of the NASA budget on the U.S. economy.
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.
Why Reform Health Care
Health care reform will cost billions, but will also save the economy billions in sick time, emergency room costs and improved child care. Find out the economic impact of health care reform.
The Surprising Similarities Between Presidents...
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
Does Trickle-Down Economics Actually Trickle...
Trickle-down economics is a theory that says reducing taxes on businesses will trickle down to benefit all. Did it work, and would it today?
How IPOs can either help or hurt you
IPO, or initial public offering, is when a company first sells shares of stock to raise a large amount of funds. Here's the pros, cons and what it means to you.
How Black Tuesday Signaled the Start of the...
Black Tuesday (October 29, 1929) was the fourth and last day of the stock market crash of 1929. Panicked investors stampeded out of stocks, kicking off the Great Depression.
Why Today's Low Interest Rates Create More...
Expansionary monetary policy is when a central bank increases the money supply to stimulate economic growth.
Why Is Black Friday Called Black Friday?
Why is Black Friday called Black Friday? The meaning of the name started out as a negative, but was later turned to a positive. Find out both meanings, and where the term
Your desire to pursue whatever makes you happy...
The American Dream was first outlined in the Declaration of Independence, which legally protects each person's desire to pursue happiness.
How Bad of a Threat Is Inflation Right Now?
The inflation rate was -0.2% in August, while the core rate was below the Fed's target. Here's what these warning signs mean.
When Stock Prices Fall, How Can You Tell If...
The difference between a stock market correction and a stock market crash.
How the real unemployment rate differs from the...
In August 2014, the real unemployment rate was 12.0%, double the reported rate. Why? It includes the discouraged and part-timers who'd prefer full-time jobs.
Stagflation Ruined the 1970s. Can It Happen Now?
Stagflation is when economic growth stagnates while inflation is rising. It only happens under unusual circumstances, like wage-price controls.
How the 10-Year Treasury Note Guides All Other...
The U.S. Treasury 10-year note yield is the return on investment. It's so important because it guides other interest rates, like a 15-year mortgage.
How Crude Oil Prices Affect the You and the...
How crude oil prices are measured, and how prices impact you and the economy. Recent oil price trends and history.
What Is the S&P 500?
Definition of the S&P 500, one of the most closely followed stock market indices.
How Ceteris Paribus Helps You Understand the...
Ceteris Paribus is a Latin phrase that means all other things being equal. It's used to explain the relationship between two variables.
How to Detect Asset Bubbles Before They Blow Up...
An asset bubble is when there is an inflation in specific assets, such as real estate or commodities. They don't show up in inflation measures.
Gulf Cooperation Council
The Gulf Cooperation Council and its members represent the growing power of the Gulf oil-exporting countries. A list of GCC countries include every country in the Arab Peninsula except Yemen.
4 Facts About NAFTA and How It Still Affects...
Facts about the NAFTA agreement, including history of NAFTA, the benefits and problems with NAFTA for its members Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
How the US Trade Deficit Negatively Affects the...
The U.S. trade deficit in 2012 was just under $539.514 billion. It was driven by imports of oil, consumer products and automobiles. The top four trading partners are Canada, China, Mexico and Japan.
How a Little-Known Rate Banks Charge Each Other...
Here's how the LIBOR rate follows the Fed funds rate...except in April 2008, when its divergence signaled the bottom was falling out of the markets.
What exactly are derivatives and why are they...
Financial derivatives are contracts to buy or sell underlying assets. They include options, swaps and futures contracts. Why they're so dangerous.
How the Affordable Health Care Act Affects You
A summary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Timeline of how the impact of the Act will roll out.
Why Airline Travel Is So Miserable, and Other...
Deregulation is when the government removes restrictions in an industry. Here's pros, cons and examples in the banking, energy and airline industries.
What Are the Current Federal Reserve Interest...
The Fed lowered the current Federal Reserve interest rate to near zero on December 16 2008, and signals it intends to keep it there until 2015.
4 Simple Steps to Get Obamacare
Here's 4 simple steps to get Obamacare. You can compare plans now and sign up in November. If eligible, you can get Medicaid or Medicare now.
What the Unemployment Rate Measures and How It...
The national unemployment rate is the number of people looking for a job divided by the number in the labor force. Although it's a lagging indicator, it is critical in guiding fiscal and monetary policy.
How to Compare the Cost of Living Around the...
The cost of living compares how much income you need to live in various locations, or across time. Find out the best indicators for your needs.
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