United States wealth compared to the rest of the world in the year 2000
Year-on-year change in total net worth of US households and nonprofit organizations 1946-2007,unadjusted for inflation or population change.
A central feature of the U.S. economy is the economic freedom afforded to the private sector by allowing the private sector to make the majority of economicdecisions in determining the direction and scale of what the U.S. economy produces. This is enhanced by relatively low levels of regulation and government involvement, as well as a court systemthat generally protects property rights and enforces contracts.
The United States is rich in mineral resources and fertile farm soil, and it is fortunate to have a moderate climate. It also hasextensive coastlines on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as on the Gulf of Mexico. Rivers flow from far within the continent, and the Great Lakes—five large, inland lakes along the U.S. borderwith Canada—provide additional shipping access. These extensive waterways have helped shape the country's economic growth over the years and helped bind America's 50 individual states together in asingle economic unit.
The number of workers and, more importantly, their productivity help determine the health of the U.S. economy. Throughout its history, the United States has experienced steadygrowth in the labor force, a phenomenon that is both cause and effect of almost constant economic expansion. Until shortly after World War I, most workers were immigrants from Europe, their immediatedescendants, or African Americans who were mostly slaves taken from Africa, or slave descendants. Beginning in the early 20th century, many Latin Americans immigrated; followed by large numbers ofAsians following removal of nation-origin based immigration quotas. The promise of high wages brings many highly skilled workers from around the world to the United States.
Labor mobility has also...