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FOMC: The abbreviation for Federal Open Market Committee, which is a part of the Federal Reserve System that's specifically responsible for directing open market operations, and is more generally charged with guiding the nation's monetary policy. The FOMC includes the 7 members of the Fed's Board of Governors and 5 of the 12 presidents of Federal Reserve District Banks. The chairman of the Federal Reserve System is also the chairman of the FOMC. By design, the 7 members of the Board of Governors can always outvote the 5 district bank presidents. The FOMC meets every 45 days to evaluate monetary policy.

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Lesson 1: Economic Basics | Unit 3: The Economy Page: 8 of 18

Topic: A Mixed Economy: Markets and Government <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Markets do an effective (and efficient) job of answering the three questions of allocation--most of the time.
  • Markets are the VOLUNTARY exchange of goods and services.
  • A pure market economy is an economy that uses nothing but markets to allocate resources.
  • A pure market economy is a useful theoretical benchmark.
Market responses to the allocation questions:
  • What? Resources are used to produce goods with the highest prices.
  • How? Goods are produced using the combination of resource with the lowest prices.
  • For Whom? People with more income buy more goods.

Government also helps answer the three questions of allocation.
  • Government allocation is INVOLUNTARY. It sets the laws and rules.
  • A pure command economy is an economy that uses nothing but government to allocate resources.
  • A pure command economy is another useful theoretical benchmark.
Government responses to the allocation questions:
  • What? When government spends taxes, it dictates what goods will be produced.
  • How? Government has laws and rules that specify how resources will be used to produce goods.
  • For Whom? Government collects taxes from some people and distributes them among other people.

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MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION, CHARACTERISTICS

The four key characteristics of monopolistic competition are: (1) large number of small firms, (2) similar but not identical products sold by the firms, (3) relative freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and (4) extensive knowledge of prices and technology.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time going from convenience store to convenience store trying to buy either a large red and white striped beach towel or a bottle of blackcherry flavored spring water. Be on the lookout for gnomes hiding in cypress trees.
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The earliest known use of paper currency was about 1270 in China during the rule of Kubla Khan.
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-- Benjamin Franklin, statesman, inventor

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