The United States has the largest, and most technologically powerful, economy in the world. Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is $47,200. In the United States, the economy is market-oriented and most of the decisions are made by private individuals and business firms. The federal and state governments buy necessary goods and services from the private marketplace as well.
In comparison to other economies around the world, the United States marketplace is more flexible when it comes to making certain business decisions. These decisions could include expansion, laying off excess workers, and developing new products. On the other hand, private businesses in the United States face more barriers when dealing with overseas markets than foreign businesses trying to enter our market. Business firms in the United States are at, or near, the top of many technological advancements. This is especially true in the following areas: computers, medical, aerospace, and military equipment.
Throughout history, the national GDP has maintained a stable growth rate and low unemployment rate. Our national economy is the world’s largest manufacturer of goods, representing 19% of the world’s manufacturing output. The United States contains the world’s largest stock exchange, the New York Stock Exchange. One large contributing factor to the success of our national economy is having a stable currency to back it up. The United States’ dollar holds approximately 60% of the world reserves. The closest competitor, the euro, holds approximately 24%.
In January 2009, the United States Congress passed, which President Obama signed, a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus to be used over 10 years, two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts, to create jobs and to help the economy recover. Approximately two-thirds of these funds were injected into the economy by the end of 2010. In 2010, the United States budget deficit reached nearly 9% of GDP; total government revenues from taxes and other sources remained lower, as a percentage of GDP, than that of any other developed country.
In March 2010, President Obama signed a health insurance reform bill into law that will extend coverage to an additional 32 million American citizens by 2016, through private health insurance for the general population and Medicaid for the impoverished. In July 2010, the president signed the DODD-FRANK Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a bill designed to promote financial stability by protecting consumers from financial abuses, ending taxpayer bailouts of financial firms, dealing with troubled banks that are deemed too big to fail, and improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, in particular, by requiring certain financial derivatives to be traded in markets that are subject to government regulation and oversight.