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RECESSION: The common term used for the contraction phase of the business cycle. A general period of declining economic activity. During a recession, real gross domestic product declines by 10 percent or so and the unemployment rate rises from it's full employment 5 percent level up to the 6 to 10 percent range. Inflation tends to be low or non-existent during a recession. Recession last anywhere from six to eighteen months, with one year being common.

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Lesson 1: Economic Basics | Unit 5: Policies Page: 16 of 18

Topic: Problems <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Several problems prevent market deficiencies from being efficiently corrected by government action.

Government imperfections:

  • Voter Apathy: When people don't vote, leaders don't know what the public really wants.
  • Special Interest Groups: Those with influence, can adversely affect government policies.
  • Re-election Minded Politicians: Leaders who please only a few, won't represent everyone.
  • Complex Bureaucracies: Complexity keeps public workers from being responsible for their actions.

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DISECONOMIES OF SCALE

Increasing long-run average cost that occurs as a firm increases all inputs and expands its scale of production. Diseconomies of scale result from decreasing returns to scale and are graphically illustrated by a positively-sloped long-run average cost curve. Diseconomies of scale usually occur for relatively large levels of production and overwhelm economies of scale that occurs at relatively small production levels. Together, economies of scale and diseconomies of scale create a U-shaped long-run average cost curve.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time calling an endless list of 800 numbers trying to buy either a rechargeable battery for your cell phone or a T-shirt commemorating the 2000 Olympics. Be on the lookout for poorly written technical manuals.
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Potato chips were invented in 1853 by a irritated chef repeatedly seeking to appease the hard to please Cornelius Vanderbilt who demanded french fried potatoes that were thinner and crisper than normal.
"Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing. "

-- B. C. Forbes, founder, Forbes magazine

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