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U.S. Economy > Basic Conditions & Resources
Introduction | Basic Conditions and Resources | Small Business
Foreign Trade
| Monetary and Fiscal Policy | The Stock Market
Labor | Agriculture | E-Commerce

What kind of information materials are available?
CD: Texts available on CD version.Texts available in multiple languages.
Symbols of the new economy: telephone, ticker tape, computer

· Department of Agriculture
· Department of Energy
· Outline of American Geography
Outline of the U.S. Economy: How the US Economy Works CD
US Geological Survey

Original Documents
· Economic Report of the President 2008 | The Nation's Infrastructure | Searching for Alternative Energy Solutions
· Federal Reserve Beige Book 2008: Current Economic Conditions


· Census State & County Quick Facts
· Commodity Statistics and Information

Department of Labor: Demographic Data
· Natural Resource Statistics
· State Energy Data
· State Minerals Statistics and Information
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2008: Population, Geography and Environment, Natural Resources, Energy
· USA, State and County QuickFacts

For High School Students
· Sci4Kids

Teacher Resources
· Dig a Little Deeper - One Page Activities
Mineral Information Institute: Educational Links
· Where did that pencil come from? The Study of Natural Resources

Link Lists
· National Mining Association


The first ingredient of a nation's economic system is its natural resources. The United States is rich in mineral resources and fertile farm soil, and it is blessed with a moderate climate. The second ingredient is labor, which converts natural resources into goods. The number of available workers and, more importantly, their productivity help determine the health of an economy. Labor-force quality continues to be an important issue. Today, Americans consider "human capital" a key to success in numerous modern, high-technology industries. As a result, government leaders and business officials increasingly stress the importance of education and training to develop workers with the kind of nimble minds and adaptable skills needed in new industries such as computers and telecommunications.

The United States is said to have a mixed economy because privately owned businesses and government both play important roles. The American free enterprise system emphasizes private ownership. Private businesses produce most goods and services, and almost two-thirds of the nation's total economic output goes to individuals for personal use (the remaining one-third is bought by government and business). The consumer role is so great, in fact, that the nation is sometimes characterized as having a "consumer economy."

This emphasis on private ownership arises, in part, from American beliefs about personal freedom. From the time the nation was created, Americans have feared excessive government power, and they have sought to limit government's authority over individuals -- including its role in the economic realm. In addition, Americans generally believe that an economy characterized by private ownership is likely to operate more efficiently than one with substantial government ownership.

Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.
Any reference obtained from this server to a specific commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the United States Government of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government.
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U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany
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Updated: May 2008