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US Economy: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
Do You Qualify for Federal Assistance?
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 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.
Here's Why Gold Will Drop Below \$1,000 Again
Gold prices fell to $1,154 an ounce at the end of 2014. Here's gold price history in the Roman Empire, Great Britain and the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Real Owner of the U.S. National Debt Will...
The $18 trillion U.S. national debt is owned by Social Security, the Fed, and foreign investors. Here's the major owners as of January 2015.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 Trade Protectionism?
Trade protectionism is how countries raise tariffs and reduce imports to protect their domestic industries. Here's pros, cons and examples.
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.
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.
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 a Mixed Economy?
A mixed economy combines the advantages and disadvantages of market, command and traditional economies. Here's examples and U.S. status.
Guess How Much America Spends on Defense
The US military budget is $534.3 billion, but total defense spending is $786.6 billion. Why? All the components are hidden in other budgets.
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.
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,
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 to China, and what happens if China calls in its loans.
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.
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.
Why the Dow's Highs Aren't Really So High
The Dow historical closing high is 18,288.63 set on March 2, 2015. Here's the DJIA highs and lows during every business cycle since the Depression.
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?
Here's Why the Euro Plummeted to a 12-Year Low
The euro to dollar conversion is how many dollars a euro will buy. Here's why it fell to an 12-year low, and how that compares to prior years.
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 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 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 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.
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.
Why Was Katrina the Most Destructive Natural...
Hurricane Katrina was the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history. It struck the heavily-populated City of New Orleans and Gulf oil fields.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Is Cyclical Unemployment?
Cyclical unemployment is when demand falls, and businesses lay off workers. Here's causes, effects, examples and solutions.
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.
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.
The Surprising Similarities Between Presidents...
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
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.
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.
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 Is the Current U.S. Federal Budget Deficit?
The U.S. Federal budget deficit will be $474 billion in FY 2015. That's a third of the all-time record deficit of $1.4 trillion, set in FY 2009.
How Reaganomics Cut Taxes, Increased Defense,...
Reaganomics promised to slash government spending and taxes to stimulate the economy out of stagflation and the 1980 recession. It worked, but at a cost.
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.
A Dollar Decline Is Inevitable, While a...
A dollar decline is very different from a collapse. Here's why, the causes, effects and how to protect yourself from both.
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.
Everything You Need to Know About Inelastic...
Inelastic demand is when the quantity bought doesn't change as much as the price does. Here's how to calculate it, examples and the other 2 types.
Is the Government Lying About Unemployment?
The real unemployment rate includes discouraged and part-time workers. It's 11.0%, double the widely-reported rate. Is the government lying?
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.
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?
Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.6%, But Discourage...
The unemployment rate for February 2015 fell to 5.5%. Here's the monthly unemployment rate statistics since April 2007.
How Would You Spend \$787 Billion?
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
Why Deflation Is a Bigger Threat to You Than...
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.
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.
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.
Why Do Companies Have Different Fiscal Years?
Fiscal Year (FY) is a business or government's financial year. It's usually not the calendar year. Examples from Federal government.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Cost of Crude Oil per Barrel: Today and Tomorrow
Oil price forecasts from the EIA and the OECD for 2015 through 2020. Why they plummeted in 2014, and why they'll rebound in 2015.
How the Greek Debt Crisis Affects the Rest of...
The debt crisis in Greece threatens the eurozone. Here's the causes, and what happens if Greece leaves the eurozone or defaults.
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.
Why being unemployed and jobless are two...
Not every jobless person is counted as unemployed. Here's the definition, how statistics are used, causes and consequence of unemployment.
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 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.
Why the EU Is So Complicated to Run
The European Union (EU) is a single monetary entity comprised of 28 fiscally independent countries. Here's how it works, and how it created a crisis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More Americans Immigrate to Mexico Than Vice...
Mexico's economy is becoming more attractive to investors, as President Pena Nieto opens up its energy industries.
What Is a Current Account Deficit?
A current account deficit is when a country imports more goods, services and capital than it exports. Here's its causes and effects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Are Interest Rates Determined?
Interest rates are determined by the Fed funds rate and demand for U.S. Treasury notes. Here's how it works.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Guess Where the Asset Bubble Is Now
An asset bubble is inflation in specific assets, such as currencies, gold or stocks. Here's causes, how to protect yourself, and recent bubbles.
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.
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 Did President Reagan Try to Combat the...
A summary of President Ronald Reagan's economic policies, Reaganomics, supply-side economics and the recession of 1981.
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.
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.
Make Financial Markets Work for You
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, forex, derivatives and their exchanges.
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.
Frictional Unemployment: Definition and Examples
Frictional unemployment is when workers voluntarily become unemployed while searching for a better job or moving for unrelated reasons.
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.
How Does Inflation Impact My Life?
The consequences of inflation and the effects of inflation on buying power.
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 Countries Are Oligarchies and Why?
Oligarchy countries include Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia. Here's the top 6, why they're oligarchies, who's involved, and how they got that way.
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.
Obamacare in a Nutshell: Here's How it Affects...
An easy-to-understand summary of Obamacare and how it affects your particular circumstance.
What Are the Current Federal Reserve Interest...
The current Federal Reserve interest rate is near zero. It will remain there until July 2015.
Could You Survive Hyperinflation?
Hyperinflation is double-digit inflation. It's usually caused by printing too much money. Here's the difference between hyperinflation and inflation.
How to Use the Dow Jones Averages to Predict...
The Dow Jones Averages include the Industrial Average (DJIA), the Transportation Average and the Utility Average. Here's what they tell you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
\$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.
Healthcare Costs Actually Fell in February
Inflation increased 0.2% in February 2015, while the core rate increased 1.7% Here's the reasons, and what it means, for each month since 2007.
Is the Economy Really Only Growing 2.2%?
The U.S. economy grew 2.2% in the fourth quarter, held back only by a cut in military spending. Compare to all GDP forecasts since 2011.
How Taxes to Protect America's Jobs Make This...
Tariffs are taxes or duties levied on imports, usually to protect domestic industries and jobs. Instead, they often do the opposite. Here's examples.
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.
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.
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.
Why You Really Don't Want Unemployment to Fall...
The natural unemployment rate is the combination of frictional, structural and surplus unemployment. Here's recent shifts that could be permanent.
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 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.
Will You Have to Pay Obamacare Taxes This Year?
Find out how Obamacare's complex taxes affect you, especially in 2014. How Obamacare taxes and credits affect businesses.
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. How it's used.
What Are Hedge Funds?
Hedge funds are private investment funds that promise great rewards, but also present great risks to both investors and the economy.
Why Do Countries Peg Their Currency to the...
Countries peg their currency to the dollar by using a fixed exchange rate to keep the value of their currency at a certain level relative to the dollar.
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 Bad Is Inflation Compared to the Past?
The U.S. inflation rate is the percent increase or decrease in prices. Here's history since 1929 and forecast.
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.

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