US economy comparison Essay

Submitted By ajrosengarth
Words: 867
Pages: 4

The economy of Cuba is a largely centrally planned economy dominated by state-run enterprises overseen by the Cuban government, though there remains significant foreign investment and private enterprise in Cuba. Most of the means of production are owned and run by the government, and most of the labor force is employed by the state, although in recent years, the formation of cooperatives and self-employment has been encouraged by the Communist Party.
In the year 2000, public sector employment was 76% and private sector employment was 23% compared to the 1981 ratio of 91% to 8%.[4] Capital investment is restricted and requires approval by the government. The Cuban government sets most prices and rations goods to citizens. In 2009, Cuba ranked 51st out of 182 with an HDI of 0.863; remarkably high considering its GDP per capita only places it 95th.[5] Public services and transport in Cuba however are regarded to be second-rate compared with its more developed counterparts on the mainland.[6]
In the 1950s, Cuba had a vibrant but extremely unequal economy, with large capital outflows to foreign investors.[7] In the 1950s, Cuba's gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was roughly equal to that of contemporary Italy, and significantly higher than that of countries such as Japan, although Cuba's GDP per capita was still only a sixth as large as that of the United States.[8][9] The country has made significant progress since the Revolution towards a more even distribution of income and Cuba has been placed under economic embargo by the United States. The economy grew intermittently under Castro until the collapse of the Soviet Union, which provided Cuba with $4 billion to $6 billion in subsidies annually. Between 1990 and 1993, Cuba's GDP declined by 33%, partially due to loss of Soviet subsidies.[10] Yet Cuba has managed to retain reasonably high levels of healthcare and education.[11]
Cubans receive low housing and transportation costs, free education, and health care and food subsidies.[12] Corruption is common, though allegedely lower than in most other countries in Latin America.[13] However, in their book, Corruption in Cuba, Sergio Diaz-Briquets and Jorge F. Pérez-López Servando state that Cuba has "institutionalized" corruption and that state-run monopolies, cronyism, and lack of accountability have made Cuba one of the world's most corrupt states".[14][15][16]


The economy of the United States is the world's largest national economy and the world's second largest overall economy, the GDP of the EU being approximately $2 trillion larger. Its nominal GDP was estimated to be over $15 trillion in 2011, approximately a quarter of nominal global GDP.[1] Its GDP at purchasing power parity is the largest in the world, approximately a fifth of global GDP at purchasing power parity.[1] The U.S. is one of the world's wealthiest nations, with abundant natural resources, a well-developed infrastructure, and high productivity.[19] It has the world's sixth-highest per capita GDP (PPP).[1] The U.S. is the world's third-largest producer of oil and second-largest producer of natural gas. It is the largest trading nation in the world. Its four largest export trading partners are as of 2011: Canada, China, Mexico and Japan.
The economy of the United States is a mixed economy[20][21] and has maintained a stable overall GDP growth rate, a moderate unemployment rate, and high levels of research and capital investment. It has been the world's largest national economy (not including colonial empires) since at least the 1890s.[22] As of 2012, the country remains the world's largest manufacturer, representing a