USA

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THE USA
The United States of America is the third largest country in the world.
It is divided into 50 states;two of them, Alaska and Hawaii, are not on the mainland.
Alaska is situated in the north of Canada, while Hawaii are a lot of islands situated in the Pacific Ocean on the west.
The capital of USA is Washington DC, in the District of Columbia, an area set aside for the national capital. Others major cities are New York, well-known also as the Big Apple, situated in the state of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in the state of California, Chicago in the state of Illinois and Las Vegas in the state of Nevada, well-known for its casinos.
The flag is very known and it is also called ‘strips and stars’. In fact there are 50 stars which symbolise the 50 states and 13 stripes which symbolise the first 13 states that were colonised by English people.
This country is so big that it passes though 5 time zones: Eastern time, Central time, Mountain time, Pacific and Alaskan time. This means that the difference between the time in Alaska and New York is 4 hours. Also, because of its vastness, the USA has a varied landscapes and climate: it goes from arid deserts in Nevada on the west, to deep green forests in Virginia on the east and to wide and grassy plains in the Prairies.
• PHYSICAL FEATURES:
The USA can be divided into five geographical regions;three of them are plains while the other two are mountainous regions.
• PLAINS
➢ The Atlantic Costal Plain runs down the east coast, from New England in the north to the Mexican border(New England is the part which was colonised by the English fathers;they came by a ship called May Flower). In this area there are some important cities such as New York, Boston Washington and Philadelphia. This is one of the most industrialised areas of the USA as it is the first region which has been conquered and 20% of Americans live here.
➢ The Interior Plain stretch along the Canadian border from the Great Lakes and Rocky Mountains in the north, down to the Atlantic Costal Plain to the south. This area is very important for agriculture lands. It is divided into two areas: >The Central Lowlands and >The Great Plains.
The former is very important is crossed by many rivers and so the soil is very fertile and rich and it includes the Corn Belt, where almost a 50% of all American corn is produced.
The second area is situated in the north and it is the main wheat-producing region, infact it is also known as the’ bread basket’ of the world. More over this area is also famous for two important manufactory areas: in Detroit a lot of cars are manufactured while in Chicago there are a lot of steel-makings.
➢ The Pacific Slope is situated in the west coast and includes San Francisco and Los Angeles. In here there are a lot of farms and several industrial centres as *Silicon Valley. This ‘Valley’ is well-known because the first computers and softwares were born in here. This area is also known for its earthquakes and vineyards.
* silicon is used to make ‘chips’
• MOUNTAINS
➢ The Appalachian Mountains is the most ancient range of USA which runs from south-west to north-east along the Costal Plain. There are no very high peaks in here because this range has been eroded by rains,wind,snow…and it is covered in forests. In this area it is possible to recognize also Smoking and Blue Ridge mountains.
➢ The North America Cordillera is a vast series of mountain ranges which run from the Great Plain on the south to Alaska on the north. These ranges also includes the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range on the west and Rocky Mountains in the centre.
The Grand Canyon, in Arizona, is one of the most tourist attractions in this area which consists in a very deep valley built by a river, the Colorado. The Alaskan section of the Cordillera includes Mount McKinley, the highest USA peak.
• RIVERS AND LAKES
In the USA there are a lot of rivers and some of them are very very long. The longest and probably the most famous river is >the Mississippi whose name was given by the native Indians. This word(M) in their language means ‘father of waters’. It forms the core of America’s waterways and there are many rivers who flow into it, such as >the Missouri and >the Ohio.
The Rocky Mountains are also called as ‘continental divide’ because they divide the country and the consequence is that rivers east of Rocky reach the Atlantic while rivers west of them reach the Pacific. Others rivers such as >the Hudson(which flows trough NY), the Potomac(W) and the Delaware flow into the Atlantic while >the Columbia and the Sacramento in California reach the Pacific. >The Rio Grande forms a naturally border between USA e Mexico and it is important for the supply of hydroelectric power. →a lot of people die because they try to enter in USA by swimming trough this border.
Lakes→along the Canadian border there are 5 huge lakes, the Great Lakes and they are Huron, Michigan, Eire, Ontario and Superior. The largest is the Superior. In these lakes there is the highest quantity of the world’s fresh water. The only one which is contained within the American border is the Michigan. This lake is also famous for the presence of Niagara falls, where a lot of honeymooners come every year. Another important lake is the Great Salt Lake in Utah and in its water there is a big quantity of salt.
• CLIMATE
Because of the vastness of the country there are different climate. Almost tropical in Florida and Louisiana;artic in Alaska;very cold winters and very hot summers in cities like NY and Chicago(less than 20, from 38 in summer);continental in cities like Boston with very cold winters and fantastic summers;good weather in Atlanta and Dallas with warm summers and mild winters. The rainfall patterns very greatly:the heaviest rainfall is in Hawaii, then Alaska while the interior plains and the west coast tend to be drier as there are a lot of deserts.
• POPULATION
About 300 million people live in USA at present on more or less 9million800thousend squared km of land which means that the average population density is around 33 people per sq km. but density is not the same in all states:California has the highest density(ab 200 people per sq km) followed by Texas and State of NY.
There are a lot of ‘megalopolis’ in here which means that a city have spread too much and it has taken over other cities. The cities are closed to each other. These megalopolis are 3:
>Boswash, which stretch from Boston to Washington and also includes NY;
>Chipitts, the major industrial area which includes the area from Chicago to Pittsburgh;
>Sansan, from San Francisco in the north to Los Angeles and San Diego in the south.

America has long welcomed newcomers from foreign lands as for ex refugees(a person who has escaped from its native land and has gone to another one), Latin American job seekers(who tried to enter the USA border, a person who is seeking a job), Canadian shoppers(either a person who sell and buy something), Asian students and Eu tourists. These people come to America because they want to take advantage of its generosity, as this is a land of opportunity where it is easy for dreams becoming true.
In 2000 USA issued about 7milion visas for foreigners and it is estimated that about 500 million people enter and leave USA every year. A VISA is a sort of stamp which is used by foreigners to enter in the USA→a person who travel must go at the consulate and the consulate put this stamp on the passport and it has a starting date and an expiry date and so this enable the person to enter in a foreign country. There are a lot of country that need a visa, but some, 29, don’t need this visa because they have an agreement with USA.
NAFTA→north America free trade agreement. Clinton wanted to open a global trade with Canada and Mexico, but with Canada there is a lot of competition and many people from Mexico are still not allowed to enter in USA.
A lot of people decide to move in USA because it is famous for being ‘the land of opportunity’ but there are several reasons for which people decide to leave them native country:
• to find better job opportunities and conditions. For ex if a person is unemployed, or if he wants improve its working condition, have a higher salary. For example in some countries workers are exploit and there is not a trade union→it is set up to reserve workers’ , if a worker has a complaint, he can go telling to the trade union. It has a lot of responsibilities, it is workers’ representative. Or another reasons is that in that country there is a lack of know-how and a person can improve his skills in new technologies by moving in USA or another develop country.
• to study. To study the language, to widen the knowledge of the language or to find better universities which have more advanced and updated programs;
• for political reasons. If a person is not satisfied with his government, with the services it provide, if there is not freedom of speech, of the press, of worship. Or if there are racial and religious persecutions. In fact nowadays there is still a large migration – from eastern countries or undeveloped countries - to develop countries, but some of them are graduated, while our migrants were illiterate.
Since the 9/11 attack the rules concerning visas and newcomers have become stricter because the government has decide:
• it is more difficult to obtain a visa;rules concerning visas are strict;
• there are tree times more Border Patrol, Customs and inspector along the Canadian border;
• in the past the term ‘terrorist’ meant the person who committed the attack, but now this is changed, ‘terrorist’ is not only who makes the attack but also anyone who provides support to terrorist organisation, regardless the type of support. For ex the person who makes the bomb is also a terrorist;
• to re-examine the Visa Waiver according to citizens of 29 countries could enter in USA without a visa in order to avoid that people of rogue-nations come in USA;
• to raise fees for tourist visa to cover the cost of more security.
These measures have been taken because of the 9/11 attack, but also to prevent further attacks. Now in fact it has become harder to get into the ‘melting pot’→which means a place where immigrants from different cultures form an integrated society. (alchemists melt different kinds of metal to crate gold).
More over people have become more frustrated at the security check points because they have to queue a lot that/while all security operations are carried out: there is a first control which takes about 30 minutes, then some passengers can be selected for a second screening even if they show a us passport and then they have to wait to collect their luggage and finally there is a second inspection. This happen to immigrants, while business people, students, tourists have no problem as their documentation is valid.
TYPES OF BUSINESS UNITS
• SOLE TRADER
A sole trader is the easiest and cheapest type of business to set up. There is a single person who runs his own business. He has an unlimited liability which means that he is entirely responsible for his own business debts, so he is economically bound to something. If the business goes bankrupt he may lose personal assets such as his house,car ecc… typical sole trader are shop owners, taxi driver ecc…
There are several adv and davd to being a sole trader:
>The owner is the only boss, he can decide to do whatever he wants
>He can lose his personal assets because of the unlimited liability
>Profits are not shared with no one
>There are not many financial resources as he is the
only one who can provide capitals
>Decisions can be made quickly because he is the only who can takes decisions
>There is nobody to share the workload
>The owner knows his employees and customers well because it is a very small business
• PARTNERSHIP
A partnership is a legal agreement between at least 2 up to a maximum of 20 person, to set up a business together and share the responsibility for managing it. The initial capital investment is made by all partners. Partnerships are common among doctors, accountants, solicitors.
There are two types of partnership:
• Unlimited partnership→ all of the partners are liable for the debts of the firm and if the business goes bankrupt they may lose personal assets because they are all financially responsible. The risks of running the company are shared among partners.
• Limited partnership→ there are two types of partners: limited or sleeping partners who contribute only capital to the business and they have not an active role in the running of the business and for this reason they are liable only for the amount of money they contribute. They don’t take part at decisions, they don’t run the business and they don’t decide strategies; and there must be at least a partner who is unlimited liable at it is called general partner. This person takes decisions and run the company as he risks his personal assets while sleeping partners not.
There are several adv and dadv to partnerships:
>Risks and responsibilities can be shared between partners
>Profits are shared between partners
>Each partners may specialise in their own area of the business
>The decision-making process can be slow because partners can disagree and so a lot of time can be wasted in …
>More finance and deals can be raised because there are more owners investing in the business with their money
>A partnership is terminated when a partner dies and therefore the process of forming a new p has to be undertaken
• LIMITED COMPANIES
A limited company is owned by shareholders – a share is a part of the capital- who are investors who have bought shares in the company. Any profit made by the company is divided among the shareholders in proportion to the capital they contributed. These payments are called dividends. All shareholders have a limited liability. They are liable for their original investment, so if the company goes bankrupt their private possessions will not be touched. Shareholders cannot take decisions in the running of the company. It is the directors elected by them at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) that control the decision-making process.
Private limited company
Public limited company
>It has between at least 2 shareholders and the maximum is 50
>It has at least 2 sh but there is not upper limit on the number of sh
>It is usually a small company
>It is usually a very big company
>It must have ‘ltd’ after its name. It stands for ‘limited’
>It must have ‘plc’ after its name. It stands for ‘public’
>It buys and sells its shares privately in fact…
>It can be quoted on the stock exchange therefore the shares can be sold to the public
>it cannot be quoted on the *Stock Exchange
>A shareholders in order to sell its shares must ask the permission at the others sh because the price of the share can decrease and the capital of the company is reduced
>It can sell its shares without restrictions**
* The Stock Exchange is a market where companies’ shares are bought and sold.
** A shareholder cannot go to the SE by his self to buy or sold shares, it on behalf of a broker, a person who can access the SE and buys and sells shares for companies.
• COOPERATIVES
A cooperative is a business unit owned and run by its members. All members have a vote, they all have the opportunity to give their opinion regardless of the capital they contribute. This means that no one member can dominate. More over all members have limited liability. This type of business unit is no profit, which means that if there is a profit it must be reinvested.
There are tree types of cooperatives:
• Workers cooperatives→they are created by employees because the company for which they worked previously had financial problem and so they have decided to buy this company and run it together;
• Retail cooperatives→they are set up when small shop keepers join together to buy in bulk from manufacturers in order to get better discounts and lower prices;
• Producer cooperatives→a group of people invest money in the setting up of a factory which will buy raw material they produce and use it to make a finished product.
• FRANCHISING
A franchise is the authorisation given by a company, the franchisor, to another business, the franchisee, to sell its goods or services in certain geographical area. In fact the franchisor decides where its new outlet must be set up. In return the franchisee pays the franchisor a fee + a percentage of its profits.
The benefits for the franchisors are that:
• They create a network of distribution outlets without investing capitals;
• They receive an initial payment from the franchisees and a percentage of their annual profits;
• The franchisees are generally highly motivated and work hard to make the franchise successful.
The advantages for the franchisees:
• They acquire a well-known product, trading name and reputation;
• They receive marketing support, training and commercial advices from the franchisor→in fact the franchisor take care about training the staff, it carry out advertising and marketing and find always new strategies.
Franchising reduce the risk of failure because the franchisee is supported by the successful of the franchisor and its brand name.
The franchisor is a company or a sole trader which has set up a well-known business and, under payment, let a person to open a shop in order to sell its products.
The franchise is the willingness of a company to let another person to use its trade market which is really famous.
• TAKE OVER, MERGER AND JOINT VENTURE
Many companies try to grow by taking over or merging with existing business.
A TAKE OVER happens when one company, called the holding company, buys enough shares in another c, them target company, to acquire the control of it. Usually the holding c buys a minimum of 50%+1 of the target c shares. But when the target c is not willing to being taken over, there is an hostile takeover but the t.c. has no enough power to stop the h.c.
A MERGER takes place between two companies trough their agreement. Infact the main different between a takeover and a merger is that in the T there is any agreements between the 2companies, while in the M there is it.
There are tree types of merger/takeover:
• Vertical integration involves the integration of firms that are at different stages of production in the same industry→so there is a company which decides to join together with another company which runs its business in another sector.
For ex: a company which grow some crops such as potatoes and acquire a firm who transform potatoes in chips and also set up a shop or an oil company may acquire oil refineries and it may also take control of filling station.
• Horizontal integration happens when firms which run their business in the same sector decide to join together and so work together.
For ex: a merger between two banks
• Lateral integration involves the integration of two companies with completely different business activities.
• A joint venture happens when two or more companies collaborate in a separate business project, but it is not a merger, they only join together in order to carry our a specific activity. →is the collaboration of two separate business on a single project.
• MULTINATIONALS-TRASNATIONALS
The term of ‘multinational’ have changed in ‘transnational’ which is the idea that these companies exist in different nations but with their strategies they can pay less taxes.
A multinational is a company which has its headquarter is in one country and carry out its business activities in other countries.
They have developed because:
• They can gain from low-cost labour and cheap raw materials in low wage countries. This let the multinational to cut production costs and make its products more competitive;
• By setting up their business in foreign countries they can often avoid trade barriers→which consist in all strategies used by nations to protect their home production;
• By diversifying into different countries’ markets they are able to spread risk→because if a company which is part of the multinational doesn’t make profits or goes bankrupt, the other companies of the group can cover this with their profits and so the holding doesn’t lose anything.
There are several adv and dadv for the host countries:
>They provide jobs and therefore reduce unemployment
>Profits don’t remain in the host country, but they are sent to the home country
>They introduce new ideas and new technologies and more successful work practise→know-how
>Because of their size and power they can exert strong political pressure in the host country
>They provide work also for local suppliers and services
>Exports are increased by multinational’s overseas efforts
>They cause local unemployment if they close down the business
>Imports are reduced as goods that were not previously produced in the host country are not available
>They may exploit the local labour force because they operate with low health conditions and without pollution control and also this people are unpaid

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  1. michele

    very good..!!.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,


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