USA vs. Zimbabwe
Background of U.S Economy
The United States has a capitalist mixed economy, which is fueled by rich natural resources, a well-developed infrastructure, and high productivity with a per capita GDP of $47,200. According to the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. GDP of $15 trillion constitutes 23% of the gross world product at market exchange rates and over 20% of the gross world product at purchasing power parity. Though larger than any other nations, its national GDP is about 5% smaller than the GDP of the European Union at PPP in 2008. The country ranks ninth in the world in nominal GDP per capita and sixth in GDP per capita at purchasing power parity. The U.S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency. The United States is the largest importer of goods and third largest exporter, though exports per capita are relatively low. In 2008, the total U.S. trade deficit was $696 billion. Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and Germany are its top trading partners. In 2007, vehicles constituted both the leading import and leading export commodity. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. public debt. In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 55.3% of the economy, with federal government activity accounting for 24.1% and state and local government activity (including federal transfers) the remaining 20.6%. While its economy has reached a postindustrial level of development and its service sector constitutes 67.8% of GDP, the United States remains an industrial power. The leading business field by gross business receipts is wholesale and retail trade; by net income it is manufacturing. Chemical products are the leading manufacturing field. The United States is the third largest producer of oil in the world, as well as its largest importer. It is the world's number one producer of electrical and nuclear energy, as well as liquid natural gas, sulfur, phosphates, and salt. While agriculture accounts for just less than 1% of GDP, the United States is the world's top producer of corn and soybeans. Coca and McDonald's are the two most recognized brands in the world. In August 2010, the American labor force comprised 154.1 million people. With 21.2 million people, government is the leading field of employment. The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with 16.4 million people. About 12% of workers are unionized, compared to 30% in Western Europe. The World Bank ranks the United States first in the ease of hiring and firing workers. In 2009, the United States had the third highest labor productivity per person in the world, behind Luxembourg and Norway. It was fourth in productivity per hour, behind those two countries and the Netherlands. Compared to Europe, U.S. property and corporate income tax rates are generally higher, while labor and, particularly, consumption tax rates are lower.
Background of Zimbabwe Economy
Zimbabwe’s economy is a mixed economy with a dominating public sector. Traditionally, the Zimbabwean economic profile used to be one of the strongest in Africa. However, increasing cases of money embezzlement at the administrative level has led to the rise of a severe economic crisis. Mineral exports, agriculture, and tourism are the main foreign currency earners of Zimbabwe. The mining sector remains very lucrative, with some of the world's largest platinum reserves being mined by Anglo-American and Impala Platinum. The Marange diamond fields, discovered in 2006, are considered the biggest diamond find in over a century. They have the potential to improve the fiscal situation of the country considerably, but almost all revenues from the field have disappeared in to the pockets of army officers and ZANU-PF politicians. Zimbabwe is the biggest trading partner of South Africa on the continent. Zimbabwe maintained positive economic growth throughout the 1980s (5.0% GDP growth per year) and 1990s (4.3% GDP growth per year). The...