America in the Global Economy and Society

Each country has its own specific factors of development. America in this regard is not an exception. A vast territory, rich natural resources, a huge consumer market, efficient development of market relations – all these factors contributed to its economic progress. Being far away from the theaters of war, the U.S. did not experience devastating impact of world wars, but rather used them as an advantageous opportunity to expand its markets. During the Second World War, the country has doubled its economic capacity, leaving far behind its competitors in Western Europe and Japan, and thus, became an absolute leader throughout the world.

In the 1970s, Keynesian measures of the state regulation, which were aimed primarily at acceleration of the pace of economic growth, reducing unemployment and the use of the federal budget to enhance investment, played a significant role in further development of the U.S. economy.

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At the same time, in early 1980s, other countries suffered from global economic crisis; the resources of extensive economic growth were exhausted. Deep cyclical economic shocks were accompanied by prolonged structural crises (energy and raw materials crises, and stagflation). The rates of economic development fell sharply; the unemployment rate rose. In 1982, there was an absolute decline in labor productivity. While speaking of the USA, period of the 1980s was the turning point in economic development of the country. There was a reversal of economic policies to strengthen the private sector role in regulation of market economy. The growing power of large corporations was seen as one of the most important means of improving production efficiency. As a result, by the end of the 1980s, 100 leading industrial companies in the U.S. concentrated about 75% of the profits within the country. The centralization of capital was used not only as a way of building assets of large companies, but also as a factor in their reorganization, modernization, merger, and restructuring of the whole institutional structure of American industry. Due to the restructuring, nowadays large corporations own many companies in various sectors of economy: in trade, transportation, credit sphere, etc., and they have a variety of system links with other similar companies.

The rise of world prices for raw materials and energy has pushed corporations to massive funding and implementation of new technologies. Costs of raw materials and energy per unit of output declined significantly. As a result, the economy of the U.S. in the 1990s moved to a new phase of high-tech conservation development. However, those developments caused crisis processes in banking and financial sector and the decline in public procurement. A state budget deficit became an acute economic problem of early 1990s that caused the growth of governmental debt and in turn, led to the reduction in investment activity within the country and transformation of the U.S. into the largest debtor in the world.

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