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TAX: Any sort of forced or coerced payment to government. The primary reason government collects taxes is to get the revenue needed to finance public goods and pay administrative expenses. However, the more astute leaders of the first estate have recognized over the years that taxes have other effects, including--(1) redirecting resources from one good to another and (2) altering the total amount of production in the economy. As such, taxes have been used to correct market failures, equalize the income distribution, achieve efficiency, stabilize business cycles, and promote economic growth.

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Lesson 1: Economic Basics | Unit 1: Economics Page: 1 of 18

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

Economics:

A social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources used to produce goods and services that satisfy consumers' unlimited wants and needs.

Key points in the study of economics:

  • Social Science: Economics uses the scientific method to explain and study our society.
  • Allocation: Economics studies allocation decisions about distributing resources, goods and services.
  • Scarce Resources: The economy's resources are limited relative to their use.
  • Production: We transform available resources into goods and services. That's production.
  • Consumption: The goods and services produced are used to satisfy wants and needs. That's consumption.

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CONFERENCE BOARD, THE

A private, non-profit, global organization established in 1916 that collects and distributes economic data to assist consumers, business leaders, and government policy makers in their economic decisions. The Conference Board is responsible for compiling the leading, coincident, and lagging economic indicators that are used to track business-cycle activity as well as the widely publicized Consumer Confidence Index. The Conference Board also convenes numerous conferences each year that provide forums to discuss and analyze pressing economic issues.

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Much of the $15 million used by the United States to finance the Louisiana Purchase from France was borrowed from European banks.
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