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As a result of the draft, the unemployment rates which had been at record low levels, was able to right itself. Once again, the U.S.'s industry-based economy was able to flourish with new needs to produce and manufacture goods and products to be used globally. The secular tendencies in economic policy responsible for this revival would be continued for several years to come.
Predictably, the end of fascism which concluded with Adolph Hitler's defeat in World War II (in 1945) brought about the reign of a new international terror: communism. The "red scare" would be utilized both domestically and abroad to fuel United States economic interests that would prove influential to the country's history. The relation of the United States' capitalist attempts to combat communism can again be traced back to its central bank, the Federal Reserve System, if not in actual case of point then at least symbolically, since the reserve system engendered the capitalist way of life which communism was allegedly threatening. The defending of capitalism and the eradication of communism were responsible for much of the economic boom of the United States during its post-World War II years.
A political issue highly influential to the state of the U.S. economy during this tenure was the Cold War fought against the Soviet Union, which was the chief propagator of communism throughout the war. As the latter attempted to extend its "Iron Curtain" to envelop as many nations as possible, the United States had cause to engage in many military and political encounters throughout the globe, such as the Korean War, the Cuban Missile crisis, and the more direct Cold War with the Soviet Union itself. Each of these engagements offered fresh attempts for industry to provide munitions, weapons, and other viable products which helped aid the United States economy.
The result of these attempts to preserve a global system of capitalism not only included the surging of the economy due to the manufacture of industry, but also provided for and encouraged the fostering of international trade on a global stage. This commitment to free enterprise was typified by the Anglo-American agreement, in which the United States and Britain discussed the planning and implementation of a world-wide economy, as the following quotation readily indicates. "The Anglo-American agreements established rules for a relatively open and multilateral system of trade and payments, but they did so in a way that would reconcile openness and trade expansion with the commitments of national governments to full employment and economic stabilization (Ikenberry, 1992, p. 1)." The post-World War II economic boom was due in large part to the United States efforts' to combat communism (by waging the Cold War), so that its free-enterprise could be established in a global market -- all of which would buttress its centralized bank, the Federal Reserve System.
Perhaps the most significant manifestation of the proposed global economy which the Anglo-American agreement planned can be evidenced from the usage of the World Wide Web, which links millions of people at the touch of a button and has provided for the U.S. economy -- and several of its workers -- instantaneous global access. In the final epoch of American history, which details the time period from 1976 to the present, the U.S. economy is decidedly secular. An important sociological impact of this situation is that the earning potential for United States laborers has certainly increased due to the internet's pecuniary capacities, which the following quote strongly supports. "…we use data from the Current Population Survey to examine the impact of Internet use on changes in earnings over 13-month intervals at the end of the "Internet boom." Our analyses reveal robustly significant positive associations between Web use and earnings growth, indicating that some skills and behaviors associated with Internet use were rewarded by the labor market (DiMaggio and Bonikowski, 2008, p. 1)."
Despite the positive connotations for the American economy and the laborers whose earnings help support it, one of the most important ramifications of an internet-based economy may be seen in the so-called "dot com" crash of the early 2000's, which directly impacted the real-estate decline a few years later. The "domino effect" of the pit falls of these industries precipitated the banking crisis a few short years later, when national banks were being bought out and supported by the federal banks which are manifestations, of course, of the Federal Reserve System. This propagation in which diverse industries cause one another to suffer comprises the current recession this country is in today. Again, it is of no minor significance that the Federal Reserve System is at the center of this maelstrom.
In conclusion, a through analysis of the various epochs in the history of the U.S. economy denotes that the founding of a central bank in the United States -- the Federal Reserve System -- has had a substantial impact on the disparate economic climates of this country's history. An equally thorough analysis of the constitution of that central bank (detailing how it operates, who exactly runs it, where its initial funding came from and so forth), would be required to understand exactly why these events have happened. Several theories abound as to the ownership of this particular financial institution, and have linked it to some of the oldest banking magnates across the world. Such an examination however, can not possibly be encompassed in the scope of the history of the United States economy, and requires its own separate deconstruction. The findings of course, would doubtlessly impact the present and future development of the U.S. economy.
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Ikenberry, John. (1992) "A World Economy Restored: Expert Consensus and the Anglo-American Postwar Settlement." International Organization 46 (1), 289.
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