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US Economy: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What's the Difference Between Real and Nominal...
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.
Guess Which President Added the Most to the...
How much each President actually contributed to the $17.7 trillion U.S. debt all the way back to Woodrow Wilson. Who added the most percentage-wise.
3 Characteristics of a Traditional Economy
A traditional economy relies on hunting, fishing and agriculture and is guided by traditions. This described most of America until the Depression.
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.
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.
See How the U.S. 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.
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.
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 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 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.
How Does the Federal Government Define a Fiscal...
Fiscal Year (FY) differentiates an organization's financial year from the calendar year. The Federal government's FY 2015 started 10/1/2014.
How the Fed Created Massive Amounts of Money
Quantitative Easing explained, including QE1, QE2, QE3, QE4 and Operation Twist. Why the Federal Reserve adopted this policy and how it works.
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.
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.
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.
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 how to avoid it.
The Real Owner of the U.S. National Debt Will...
The $17 trillion national debt is owned by Social Security, the Fed, and foreign investors. Here's the major owners as of June 2014.
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.
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. Here's how they differ.
How China and Other Command Economies Work So...
A command economy subjugates individual self-interest to a greater societal or economic goals. It's great at mobilizing economic growth quickly.
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.
Here's Why Gold Will Drop Below \$1,000 Again
The history of gold prices since the Roman Empire show that the precious metal's record-high prices in 2011 were part of an asset bubble.
How to Calculate the Year-Over-Year Growth Rate
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.
5 Benefits of NAFTA You May Not Even Realize
The advantages of NAFTA for Mexico, Canada and the U.S. include an increase in trade which has contributed to economic growth.
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.
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.
What Is the History and Purpose of NAFTA?
NAFTA's purpose is to increase trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Here's the history of NAFTA, including 3 Presidents and its many critics.
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.
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.
What Is a Mixed Economy?
A mixed economy combines the advantages and disadvantages of market, command and traditional economies. Here's pros, cons, examples and U.S.status.
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 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?
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.
What Happened During The Great Depression of...
What caused and finally ended the Great Depression of 1929. Life and unemployment during the depression.
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,
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.
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.
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.
What more your elected officials COULD be doing...
Fiscal policy is how elected officials change the money supply through spending or taxing. Here's more on expansionary and contractionary policies.
3 Reasons Why America Is in Debt
The US debt is $17.7 trillion, the largest in the world. Here's the three main reasons it grew so large, and how it will damage U.S. economic growth.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Exactly How Much U.S. Debt Does China Own? And...
The U.S. debt to China is $1.25 trillion. Here's why America owes so much China, and what happens if China calls in its loans.
How Would You Spend \$787 Billion?
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
How Black Tuesday Signaled the Start of the...
Black Tuesday was the last day of the stock market crash of 1929. Panicked investors stampeded out of stocks, kicking off the Great Depression.
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.
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.
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.
Unemployment Drops Below 6% for the 1st Time...
The unemployment rate for September 2014 fell to 5.9%. Here's the current and original unemployment rate statistics for every month since April 2007.
The Real Reason We're Sending American Jobs to...
The US trade deficit with China is the largest in the world, and a symptom of global economic imbalance. Here's its causes, effects and remedies.
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.
When Stock Prices Fall: Correction or Crash?
The difference between a stock market correction and a stock market crash.
Mexico's Economy Is Growing Faster Than You Think
Mexico's economy is becoming more attractive to investors, as President Pena Nieto opens up its energy industries.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Everything You Need to Know About Elastic Demand
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.
How Inflation Impacts Your Life
The consequences of inflation and the effects of inflation on buying power.
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.
Interesting Facts about China and Its Economy
China's economy is the third largest in the world, and it is the largest exporter. Here's the causes, concerns and how it impacts the U.S.
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 Cyclical Unemployment?
Cyclical unemployment is when demand falls, and businesses lay off workers. It occurs during the contraction phase of the business cycle. It can be a vicious, downward spiral that can only be stopped by Federal government intervention.
The 14 Biggest Myths About Obamacare That...
The truth about Obamacare behind the 14 biggest myths that people actually believe. Test your knowledge to make sure you aren't being misled.
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 a Current Account Deficit?
A current account deficit occurs when a country has to rely on foreign investors to fund its economic growth. Here's its causes and effects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Here's how to calculate it, examples and 2 other types.
Why Today's Low Interest Rates Create More...
Expansionary monetary policy is when a central bank increases the money supply to stimulate economic growth.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
What Is the World's Largest Economy?
The U.S. is the world's largest economy, followed by the EU. Those two leaders are followed by China, India and Japan.
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.
Fast Facts About NAFTA
Facts about the NAFTA agreement, including history of NAFTA, the benefits and problems with NAFTA for its members Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
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.
Is the Government Lying About the Real...
The real unemployment rate is 11.8% for September 2014, nearly double the reported rate of 5.9%. Is the government lying? Not exactly, and here's why.
The Top 3 Most Important Types of Market Cap
Market capitalization is a company's stock price times the number of shares outstanding. Here's the 3 types, top 20 companies by market cap, and how it's used.
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.
Here's How Liquidity Controls Your Finances
Liquidity is the amount of capital available, and how easily it is to use. Here's how central banks and businesses manage liquidity.
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.
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.
What did the fourth round of quantitative...
An explanation of QE4, the Federal Reserve's fourth installment of quantitative easing.
The Surprising Similarities Between Presidents...
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
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 real reason the stock market crashed on...
Black Thursday in 1929 was the first clue that a historic stock market crash was about to hit.
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.
Obamacare in a Nutshell: Here's How it Affects...
An easy-to-understand summary of Obamacare and how it affects your particular circumstance.
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 Does OPEC Stand For? Who Are OPEC Members?
What is OPEC, who are OPEC members, and how does OPEC affect oil prices?
Where Are We in the Business Cycle and Why...
Where are we in the current business cycle? We are still in an expansion phase. However, it's been very long and slow. How to protect your investments.
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.
What Makes the NASDAQ Different From the Dow...
NASDAQ definition, what it stands for, and the difference between NASDAQ, NYSE, Dow and S&P 500. NASDAQ bubbles and crashes
\$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.
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.
10 Essential Benefits: Does Your Health Plan...
The 10 essential health benefits include preventive care, maternity care and mental health benefits. Before the ACA, less than 2% of plans complied.
The Difference Between Dollar Decline and...
Will the chronic dollar decline cause a collapse? How to protect yourself from it.
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 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.
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.
How the US Trade Deficit Hurts the Economy
The U.S. trade deficit in 2013 was $539.514 billion. Here's a summary of what's traded, what causes the deficit, and America's largest trade partner.
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?
Why Do Interest Rates Ever Need to Rise?
Contractionary monetary policy is when central banks raise interest rates and reduce the money supply to avoid inflation. Here's some examples.
Make Financial Markets Work for You
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities derivatives and their exchanges.
These Halloween Sales Facts Should Scare You
In 2014, Halloween sales are off from the record in 2012, but slightly higher than last year. Here's why, and what it means for Black Friday.
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.
How to Use the S&P 500 to Make Money
Definition of the S&P 500, one of the most closely followed stock market indices.
How Discretionary Fiscal Policy Affects...
Discretionary fiscal policy is the portions of Federal government taxes and spending that can be changed from year to year.
What Makes the U.S. Dollar So Powerful
The power of the US dollar means there's little danger of a collapse. It's the world's currency and it's backed by the U.S. government.
How Are Interest Rates Determined?
Interest rates are determined by the Fed funds rate and demand for U.S. Treasury notes.
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.
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.
How Do Oil Prices Affect Gas Prices?
How crude oil prices affect gas prices, and how swings in oil prices affected gas prices from 2008 to the present.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
How to Make Obamacare Work for You
Obamacare works for you by making sure you can get insurance. Beyond that, it depends on your particular circumstance. Find out how it works for 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.
The Pros and Cons of the Gold Standard, and Why...
President Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard in 1973. How the gold standard works, what are the pros and cons, and why we can't go back.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How COLA Protects You from Inflation
The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increases wages to match the rate of inflation. The Social Security COLA is critically important to retirees.
BP Disaster Worst American Oil Spill on Record
On April 20, 2010, an explosion at the BP drill site created the largest oil spill in the U.S. Compare the economic impact to other environmental disasters.
What Is a Country's Balance of Payments?
The balance of payments is a country's international trade plus the financial transactions that make it possible. Here's its components.
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.
How Bad of a Threat Is Inflation Right Now?
The inflation rate was 0.1% in September, & the annualized core rate was 1.7% Here's why, and what it means for each month since 2004.
Why banks are allowed to lend \$9 out of every...
The Federal Reserve requires that banks only keep $1 out of each $10 you deposit on hand each night. Here's why this is not only legal, but good.
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