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Forum Post: CIA World Factbook - US Economy (excerpt)

Posted 8 years ago on July 6, 2012, 10:01 p.m. EST by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Please see below excerpt from this link (the bolding is mine)



The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $48,100. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment; their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income. Imported oil accounts for nearly 55% of US consumption. Oil prices doubled between 2001 and 2006, the year home prices peaked; higher gasoline prices ate into consumers' budgets and many individuals fell behind in their mortgage payments. Oil prices increased another 50% between 2006 and 2008. In 2008, soaring oil prices threatened inflation and caused a deterioration in the US merchandise trade deficit, which peaked at $840 billion. In 2009, with the global recession deepening, oil prices dropped 40% and the US trade deficit shrank, as US domestic demand declined, but in 2011 the trade deficit ramped back up to $803 billion, as oil prices climbed once more. The global economic downturn, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, investment bank failures, falling home prices, and tight credit pushed the United States into a recession by mid-2008. GDP contracted until the third quarter of 2009, making this the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression. To help stabilize financial markets, in October 2008 the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and industrial corporations, much of which had been returned to the government by early 2011. In January 2009 the US Congress passed and President Barack 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. In 2010 and 2011, the federal budget deficit reached nearly 9% of GDP; total government revenues from taxes and other sources are lower, as a percentage of GDP, than that of most other developed countries. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to military purposes and contributed to the growth of the US budget deficit and public debt - through 2011, the direct costs of the wars totaled nearly $900 billion, according to US government figures. In March 2010, President OBAMA signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a health insurance reform bill 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. Total spending on health care - public plus private - rose from 9.0% of GDP in 1980 to 17.9% in 2010. 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 "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. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable current account and budget deficits - including significant budget shortages for state governments - energy shortages, and stagnation of wages for lower-income families.



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[-] 3 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 8 years ago

If I may be so bold as to add a comment to my own original post above:

Translation of the OP: We are going down the crapper in a hurry people. And the Illuminati doesn't give a shitfuck about it because they feel safe in their millionare gated communities, armor-plated limos, and world domination of financial markets and tax structure that favors them.

To quote George Carlin, "they have you by the balls!!!" How can these heartless psychopathic SOBs continue their relentless grasp on us? They are a tiny minority...immensely rich and powerful, yes. But we outnumber them 99-to-1. How is it that we can't seem to get our hands around their figurative throats? How? WTF is wrong with us?????

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 8 years ago

Religion keeps the poor from murdering the rich.

Guilt is only a problem if you feel it. The one percent don't feel anything.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 8 years ago

You and I have disagreed about things in the past, but in this particular case I agree with everything you just said.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 8 years ago

Hmmm, in debates, there will always be disagreements.

I don't hold grudges though.

With all the paedophilia attached to religion these days, I'm really at a loss to explain why it is still a popular pastime/fervent belief system.

Perhaps the world is such a corrupt bent place, that solace can be found in a string of beads, or a dog-eared old book written millenia ago.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 8 years ago

I think a certain large percentage of the population simply has to have something to hang onto, and religion provides a pre-made formula to soothe their fears. "Don't worry...everything is going to be ok. Just believe in this doctrine and I will take care of you." I think these types are actually children that never completely made it to adulthood. Mommy and Daddy took care of them growing up, but now they know mommy and daddy can't answer all their questions or solve all their problems, so.....

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 8 years ago

Yes, agreed, but we're going over old ground here.

Religion is the opiate of the masses.

Psalms soothe the shattered soul.

Jesus loves you; everyone else thinks you're an asshole.

I could go on and on. But I think that you already got the point.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

FYI & to follow The CIA : "It’s Not Our Job To Take Power, It’s Our Job To Fight Power !" ; Chris Hedges speaking at Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31774.htm .

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