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July 3, 2020 

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CHANGE IN BUSINESS INVENTORIES: The increase or decrease in the stocks of final goods, intermediate goods, raw materials, and other inputs that businesses keep on hand to use in production. This is one of two main categories of gross private domestic investment included in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The other category is fixed investment. Change in business inventories is NOT what most people think of when the topic of business investment arises. Inventory changes are considered investment because firms need inventories to smooth the flow of production and sales just like they need factories and equipment to produce goods. In fact, inventories are frequently termed "working capital."

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PRIVATE PROPERTY

An economic institution in which goods, resources, commodities, or other assets (property) are owned and controlled by households and businesses (the private sector) rather than government (the public sector). Private property is a key institution, along with individual freedom and competitive markets, that helps to form the structure of capitalism.

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Fact 4: Our Monopolized Markets

Our pedestrian's jaunt through the economy is not, unfortunately, an unrestrained shopping spree for confectioneries, spark plug tools, and Houston, Texas. We have other important errands to run. At the moment we need to hike over to Shady Valley's exclusive provider of cable television services, the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television Company, Inc., to inquire about a mysterious fee that appeared last month's bill.

The good news is that the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters (the 4M people) Cable office is a mere 2 miles (3 kilometers for the metrically inclined) from the Shady Valley Central Town Sprawling Hills Shopping Mall. A hop, skip, and a moderately long jump later, our excursion through the economy takes us to the front door of the 4M Cable Television Company where I hope to discover why last month's cable bill included a $3,569 charge for something called "The Vacation Channel." I didn't even know I had a vacation channel. (But, I'm sure it's a great channel, and if I don't have it, then I will certainly subscribe. Please don't disconnect me.)

Of course, because this an afternoon workday, the doors of the 4M office are locked. I can almost make out, through the expensive stained glass windows, what appears to be several Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television employees, with champaign bottles in hand, dancing on expensive mahogany desks. Let's not disturb them. As they say in the cable business, an upset worker is a disconnected customer.
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BLUE PLACIDOLA
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time looking for a downtown retail store hoping to buy either a dozen high trajectory optic orange golf balls or a large red and white striped beach towel. Be on the lookout for high interest rates.
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Two and a half gallons of oil are needed to produce one automobile tire.
"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."

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