MBA in United States: An Overview

The Cola you are drinking, the Jeans you are wearing, the Phone you are using, the media you are consuming (mass and social) - most of them have become an inseparable part of our lifestyle because of United States’ unquenching thirst to dominate world markets. Thomas Paine’s “Commonsense” which became the triggering literature for America’s independence has a line that summarizes the Entrepreneurial spirit of the Wild West, “Let us build; if we want them not, we can sell; and by that means replace our paper currency with ready gold and silver.”

The first part of the sentence – “Let us build; if we want them not, we can sell,” is the reason why despite emerging economies finding cheap labor, world’s trade is led by the US.

Gold’s reserve in percentage of Forex currency is 76% for the US – the highest in the world - a reason why USD (United States Dollar) is still the most traded currency in the world. No other currency offers the stability that USD could, even to such an extent that countries are willing to use USD as an unofficial currency. Crude and Oil are traded for USD; and so are the exchange rates of currencies pegged against.

America’s dominance to a large extent is cultural. One statement that binds the poor, the middle class and the wealthy in unison is that “The Fate of my life is in my own hands.” The statement might seem outrageous for a risk-averse country like Japan where slow customary actions within the boundaries of tradition and society are encouraged over varied individualism. Individualism is encouraged in Europe but only if you acquire wealth within the confines of an egalitarian culture. It is only in America where every class of the society feels that one deserves exponential rich according to their risk-taking ability.

Despite a socialist movement in 2016, a Billionaire won the election. The candidate was voted by a majority of mid-western blue-collared workers, who believed that someone who can acquire and lose wealth is better qualified than an experienced insider from the government with over 20 years of experience.


Trade and Business are the lifeblood of Americans, who respect fair Business over any ideology that promises a paradise. After the protest, and repeal of Stamp Act, Americans under British rule continued accepting the manipulations until the Tea Act of 1773 that enabled the East India Company to have a monopoly over the Tea trade in America. To protest against the trade injustice, tea valued over $18,000 was dumped into Boston harbor. The irreverence was aptly titled the “Boston Tea Party” that catapulted the British to suppress the colonist with the support of German mercenary. Americans established a shadow government that eventually led to the war for independence. On reflection, had the British lain low, they would have 50-100 years left in America.

Trade was the reason for revolt and independence.


Unlike other countries, the United States map is shaped like a shark with the tails representing the North East and South Atlantic regions. The US covers 3,805,927 square miles (9,857,306 square km) in total area that includes all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas (American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)

The country is fourth largest in the world in terms of Area with 48 states engulfed between Canada and Mexico while Hawaii is splattered along the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, and Alaska, cornered in the Northwestern region in North America, while sharing its boundaries with Canada and Russia.


As of 2016, the US hosts 323 million residents – a group that includes all those who reside in the 50 states along with residents of the District of Columbia while excluding the residents of Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the island areas, citizens who reside outside the country and the armed forces stationed abroad. The Germans are the largest ancestral group, followed by the Irish, African Americans, English, and Native Americans.


Multilingualism is not the strength of Americans. Popular culture often makes fun of the clueless American tourist traveling abroad trying to utter at least a couple of new words in the native language. Surprisingly, at the time of independence, nearly a quarter of the population was from non-English European countries, and nearly one-third spoke a language other than English. Four years before the first world war, 10% of the population, reported a non-English language as their mother tongue. With the European immigration ending with the first World War, the reversal in multilingualism began and continued till immigrants hit the lowest of 4.7% of the total population in 1970.

Post-1970, immigration revived and linguistic diversity saw a direct correlation with the percentage of foreign-born Americans (12.9% in 2010). According to the latest Census data, the non-English speaking Americans above the age of 5 constitute 20.3% of the population with 12.6% speaking Spanish, while Chinese was second (0.9%) and Hindi/Urdu third, representing 0.7% of the total non-English speaking group. Other popular non-English speaking languages include French, German, Russian, Filipino Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Italian, and Arabic.


Despite President Trump targeting Mexico as the biggest source of illegal immigrants, the legal migration from Mexico to the US has been negative from 2009 to 2014. This is the first decline since the steady rise from 1990. Even illegal migrants fell to 11.3 million in 2014 after peaking to 12.2 million in 2007. The 2008 crisis explains the decline, but another explanation is Mexico’s GDP growth rate that touched 2% in the latter half of 2009 and remained in the 1.5 to 2.0 range until 2016. The largest influx of immigrants is from Asia, specifically India that has overtaken Mexico in terms of annual percentage growth of immigrants. Between 2009 and 2014, unauthorized Indians grew by 43% reaching 5,00,000, still comparatively low to illegal Mexicans that constitute 5.85 million, but the year on year change in illegals from Mexico fell by 8%.

The latest H1-B Visa rules will hardly leave a dent on the job prospects for MBAs graduating from US Business Schools. Fear mongering is expected but remember - US Business School still dominates and attracts the largest and the most qualified application pool, far superior to what schools in the UK, Canada, Singapore, Italy, France, or Germany receive.

The US still ranks #1 in the world with an $18.5 trillion economy, contributing towards 25% of the Gross World Product (GWP).

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