End of the Year in the United States

The relative tranquility on the domestic economic front has allowed the United States government to develop intense international activity.

Thanksgiving marks the onset of the northern winter season and the beginning of the year-end festivities in the United States. It is a holiday that traces its remote origin to the shortages suffered by the pilgrims who arrived in Massachusetts on board the Mayflower in 1620. Its designation as a national civic day comes from a proclamation made by President Abraham Lincoln in October of 1863. Lincoln used to recommend to his companions to express gratitude for the nation’s unity at a time when the union was being tested on a civil war battlefield.

These precedents started fading from contemporary memory. These days, Thanksgiving, an American holiday that surpasses all others, is a family celebration whose main attraction to a multicultural society is the lack of civic and religious connotations. For this reason, the days immediately before and after Thanksgiving record the largest number of annual passengers. This year, the increase in the amount of people using their cars was due to a favorable employment situation and low gas prices. The way Christmas sales started after the so-called “Black Friday” event allows us to predict a dynamic behavior in household consumption in December.

The signs of re-activation suggest that the U.S. economy is starting to recover from the damage caused by the crises of 2008. The job market registers conditions near full employment, which are conducive to the increase in remuneration. Some cities are taking the initiative to adopt a minimum wage of $15 an hour. The reduction in energy costs, which contributed to technological advances in hydrocarbon extraction, represents a competitive advantage for the intensive industrial sectors in energy supplies. The rhythm of growth in economic activity in the United States exceeds that of other industrialized nations. The conditions seem to be conducive to the Federal Reserve, the central U.S. bank, to start the process of normalization of monetary policy through gradual increases in the interest rate.

The relative tranquility on the economic front allowed the government to develop an intense international activity. The bonds of friendship with France were re-affirmed at the time of the attacks in Paris. President Obama came out in favor of maintaining Spain’s unity and against the eventual exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Several Asian nations are receiving commercial incentives, such as the Trans-Pacific Agreement, and military cooperation programs aimed at combating the hegemonic tendency from China. The intention of the Chinese authorities to restrict navigation in their regional maritime zones in order to affront terrorist movements, such as the Islamic State, have become one of the greatest challenges of our time.

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