United States 2002

The United States in 2002 was a federal constitutional republic with President George W. Bush as its Head of State. It was composed of fifty states and the population of the US at that time was approximately 287 million people and its official language was English. The country had a presidential system of government with George W. Bush as its President since 2001. The economy of the US was largely based on services such as banking, finance, insurance, tourism and media but it also had a growing manufacturing sector. Education was free for all citizens up to secondary school level and the literacy rate was estimated to be around 97%. Healthcare services were provided by the government at no cost for all citizens but many suffered from diseases such as tuberculosis due to poor sanitation practices and lack of access to clean water sources. In 2002, the US had made some progress in terms of economic development but still had high levels of poverty compared to other countries in North America. According to computerannals, the country also had a very open foreign policy, which saw it joining many international organizations such as NATO and IMF, while maintaining strong relations with both Western and non-Western countries.

Yearbook 2002

USA. According to Countryaah website, national day of United States is every July 4. The war on terror declared by President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks dominated the agenda both domestic and international. In a speech to the nation in January, Bush warned of an “axis of evil” and specifically mentioned Iraq, Iran and North Korea. That led many to fear that the United States was planning to expand the war in Afghanistan.

There, the hunt for Taliban, and not least the main suspect of the terrorist attack, Usama bin Laden, continued, although there was no clear evidence that he was still alive.

In January, the United States began bringing prisoners from Afghanistan to the Guantánamo Bay military base in Cuba. They were declared “illegal combatants”, a term which meant that they were not given the status of prisoners of war nor were they treated like ordinary criminals. About 600 people eventually ended up in the prison camp. Among many other nationalities there was a Swedish prisoner.

Gradually, it became clear that Bush was prepared to resort to violence against Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. It aroused concern and criticism in the outside world, even among US allies in Europe. In particular, Germany opposed all war plans with such sharpness that ice cold arose in relations between both countries. At home, too, many were hesitant about the war plans, but Bush received a sign from Congress in the fall for an armed attack. In the UN, after a compromise, he had to settle for a resolution stating that “serious consequences” awaited Iraq unless the country could prove that all weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed. At the end of the year, weapons inspectors were back in Iraq for the first time since 1998 and the United States and other members of the Security Council studied a 12,000-page report that Iraq issued in early December. However, there were many indications that the United States would not accept the report and the threat of war hung in the air.

The war on terror was also reflected in huge grants to the military; After a 10 percent increase in defense spending in 2002, Bush proposed a further 13.7 percent surcharge in 2003 to close to $ 379 billion. In addition, $ 37.5 billion was allocated to a new Department of Homeland Security, the Homeland Security Department. The ministry received close to 170,000 employees and completely or partially replaced 22 federal agencies, such as Coast Guard, Border Patrol, Migration Office, etc.

The intelligence service CIA, the federal police FBI and the national security service NSA would not be included in the new department, but provide it with intelligence material. It was the biggest change by the federal authorities since World War II.

Bush had continued strong support among Americans, which became evident as Republicans progressed strongly in the November congressional elections. The party strengthened its dominance in the House of Representatives and took over power in the Senate.

It has only happened twice before that the party holding the presidential power has strengthened its position in the midterm elections. Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives Richard Gephardt resigned after the defeat and elected new leader Nancy Pelosi, the first woman in the post.

However, the economy was a concern for Bush. The recession prevailed and unemployment was at 6% at the end of the year, the highest figure in nine years. The budget was estimated to be in deficit for the second year in a row, after having been on plus for several years.

The world’s second largest airline, United Airlines, with over 80,000 employees, had been hit hard by the crisis in the airline industry and forced to seek bankruptcy protection at the end of the year. In addition, the government had been shaken by accounting scandals in a number of large companies.

It started with energy giant Enron, which collapsed as early as December 2001. The company turned out to be cheating with the bookkeeping and pulled the audit firm Arthur Andersen with it in the case, when it proved to have contributed by hiding the cheating. Later, the telecom and data operator WorldCom also proved to have engaged in accounting fraud in the billion class. When WorldCom sought bankruptcy protection in July, it was the largest bankruptcy in US corporate history.

The office commodity giant Xerox was also revealed to have lied about its profits, and it was also discovered that major banks such as Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase had helped Enron hide its growing debts. A number of legal processes were initiated to measure responsibility in the many financial scandals. Bush, who, with his background in the oil industry, was close to big finances, saw himself forced to adopt new stricter anti-fraud laws in business.

The financial difficulties helped the President to implement the first refurbishment in his government in December. Finance Minister Paul O’Neill had to go and was replaced by Railway Director John Snow. The White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey was also replaced by Stephen Friedman, who came from the financial world.

United States Border Countries Map

Defeat in Vietnam

The US right wing reacted violently to this increasing pressure from the left. In 1968, the undisputed leader of the civil rights movement, the priest Martin Luther King, was killed by a white assailant, and the same year, deceased President Kennedy’s little brother was killed by an assailant when he ran for president. Instead, North Americans elected Republican Richard Nixon as president. In 1972 he visited Moscow and Beijing respectively in an attempt to sharpen the contradictions between the two communist countries. That same year, he was re-elected for a new four-year presidential term, but after it was revealed that he had been deeply involved in espionage against the Democratic Party election headquarters Watergatein 1972, in 74, he had to resign as president. In 1975, the US strategic defeat in Vietnam was a reality. On April 30, under the chaotic conditions, the last soldiers, CIA spies and embassy officials were flown out of the country in helicopters. Vietnam was free and the United States had a Vietnam syndrome.

The transitional figure Ford was followed by Jimmy Carter (1977-81) at the presidential post. He had been a member of the Trilateral Commission and had considerable knowledge of the U.S. geopolitical interests. He should repair the superpower’s shattered reputation after the CIA scandals and revelations of the hidden war on oppositionists around the world. As part of a public relations offensive, he made demands for respect for human rights vis-à-vis US allies in, among other things. South Korea, Chile, Argentina, Israel, and South Africa. At the end of his presidential term, the US Embassy in Iran was occupied, and his opponent succeeded in the November 1980 presidential election, Republican Ronald Reagan, to impede the release of the hostages. The procrastination allowed Reagan to win the election, and the hostages were only released the same day he was deployed as president (1981-89).

1981-92 Conservative offensive

2nd-grade movie actor Reagan was carried into the White House on a wave of neoconservatism and religious fundamentalism. He reduced the taxes of the rich, the social spending of the state and dramatically increased the military spending of the superpower. At the same time, he initiated an ideological crusade against the Soviet Union: “The Empire of Evil.” With the massive investments in military hardware and massive government deficits, he managed to get the US economy going after the crisis in the 1970’s. At the same time, however, the US economy was facing increasingly fierce competition from Western Europe and Japan.

The superpower population of Latin American descent increased through the 80’s by 53%, reaching 22 million. It was an expression of the far more extensive crisis in Latin America – especially the wars in Central America and the crisis in Mexico. However, the Latin American population had to live under conditions that were even worse than the African American population. A large number of them had to live illegally in the United States, and the UN determined that the US white population was the richest in the world, the African American population came in 30th place, while the US Latin American population was down to 53rd place (compared to countries in the rest of the world). For the country as a whole, in 1991, 15% of the population lived below the official poverty line.

Authorities continued their arbitrary assault on the African American population. In May 1985, several hundred police officers attacked the Move collective in Philadelphia with automatic weapons and C4 dynamite. Everyone in the collective (6 adults and 5 children ages 7-13) except a single one was killed and 65 homes in the Black Town burned to the ground. Philadelphia’s chief of police had decided before that Move was a terrorist organization. No police officers were subsequently placed on trial for murder or arson. (The forgotten police bombing of a Philadelphia pro-black group – video, Guardian 29/7 2016).

In 89, Reagan was followed in the presidential post by his Vice President, George Bush. The former CIA chief had the most control over foreign policy, and it was under him that the United States finally overcame the trauma of Vietnam. The December 1989 invasion of Panama and the Gulf Warin January-February 1991, the United States people again showed their willingness to allow the superpower to play the role of “world police officer”. But the economy of the superpower was at the same time under a deep crisis. The expansion through the ’80’s had been largely funded through public borrowing. Administration rhetoric was liberal, but economic policy was military-Keynesian. As early as about 1986-87, Congress imposed tight budgetary restrictions to slow the development of government debt, and as the state slowed down dramatically in its spending, the economy came into deep crisis. While Bush concentrated on positioning the United States as the world’s only remaining police officer, he became increasingly unpopular among the growing number of unemployed North Americans and in the crisis-plagued United States in general. In Los Angeles, the crisis triggered widespread riots in April 1992. Many parts of the city center were in an emergency for several days.

United States Country Overview

The Visa
Passport must be valid for the duration of the trip. A traveler does not need a visa for a visit of less than 3 months. However, a Finnish citizen must have a valid electronic travel authorization ESTA. The application will be completed on the U.S. Border Services website, which you can access here. ESTA costs $ 14 per person and is valid for 2 years at a time. According to the regulation, which came into force on 21 January 2016, passengers who have visited Iraq, Iran or Sudan after 1 March 2011 will need a visa when traveling to the USA. This also applies to dual nationals of these countries. An ESTA electronic travel authorization is no longer sufficient for these passengers.

Everyone participating in the trip must have a valid travel insurance that covers medical expenses in the event of illness or other similar need. Please check the validity of your own insurance and the terms and conditions of the insurance cancellation cover.

Please pay attention to the special nature of your trip and check the coverage of the insurance in that respect as well. In many locations, the insurance must also be valid when moving at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, in which case it also covers mountain sickness.

Many hiking or diving trips require more extensive insurance, which covers, for example, diving or moving on a glacier. Please check the contents of your insurance with your insurance company.

Check the vaccination requirements at your health center

Climate In
The United States, the climate really varies greatly from region to region and there are almost all types of air harvests in the country. The temperate climate prevails in most parts of the country, but Florida and Hawaii, for example, have a tropical climate and Alaska has an arctic climate. There are also various weather phenomena such as tornadoes and hurricanes. The hurricane season is in the Atlantic region from June to September. Arizona is one of the hottest places where temperatures can rise to 50 degrees.

Currency: United States Dollar (USD). Check the exchange rate of the target countries at www.forex.fi

Most often, restaurants expect 15-20% tip money.

Food and drink
American cuisine is diverse and has been influenced by the food cultures of both Indians and immigrants from around the world. Cooking traditions mix in U.S. cuisine and dishes can vary from state to state. More seafood, such as various fish species and seafood, is eaten along the Atlantic coast. While e.g. Texas raises cattle that are used for food. Jambalaya is native to New Orleans, while beans flavored with maple syrup are typical Boston food. Italian and Chinese immigrants in particular developed new American versions of the dishes of their home countries. American cuisine is also known for its fast food, such as burgers, barbecue food, macaroni and cheese frying, and apple pie known for its desserts. Most U.S. wine is produced in California, with the main grape varieties being Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. Tap water is drinkable in several cities.

Mobile phones
Check with your network operator for the coverage of your mobile phone. The U.S. area code is +1.

Electric current The electric current in
The United States is 120 V. Finnish devices need an adapter.

Time difference
There are nine time zones in use in the United States. The time difference between the states of the American continent and Finland is -7 / -10 hours.