About the United States of America (USA)The USA is about one-half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about one-half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; about two and one-half times the size of Western Europe.
In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and government buys needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace.
US business firms enjoy considerably greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, lay off surplus workers, and develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to entry in their rivals' home markets than the barriers to entry of foreign firms in US markets.
US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment, although their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II.
No country on earth has a population as diverse and a culture as varied as the United States. It is this very diversity that makes American life as complicated as it is. On the one hand, the United States is a nation. On the other hand, even after four centuries, that nation is still a great experiment.
The United States occupies a continent and has many varied regions. Over the course of several centuries, immigrants from all over the world came to the United States and brought their own cultures and traditions.
The tradition of immigration continues today, creating vital new American communities. The blending of these traditions gives the United States its great strength as a nation. The same mixture creates challenges and problems.