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AD VALOREM TARIFF: A tax on imports that is specified as a percentage of the value of the good or service being taxed. This is one form of trade barrier that's intended to restrict imports into a country. Unlike nontariff barriers and quotas, which increase prices and thus revenue received by domestic producers, an 'ad valorem tariff' generates revenue for the government. For example: a 15 percent ad valorem tariff on a TV set worth $100 would pay a tariff of $15. One advantage of an ad valorem tariff is that it keeps up with changes in prices (mostly inflation).

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The AmosWEB GLOSS*arama is a searchable database of 2000 economic terms and concepts. GLOSS*arama entries range from A ("a" -- the vertical intercept of a straight line) to Z ("zoning" -- legal restrictions on the location of an activity).

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UTILITY MEASUREMENT

A quantification of the satisfaction of wants and needs achieved through the consumption of goods and services. In principle, utility measurement can take one of two forms: (1) cardinal, which is based on numerical values (1, 2, 3, etc.) and (2) ordinal which is based on rankings (first, second, third, etc.). While the hypothetical instructional analysis of utility relies on cardinal utility, ordinal utility is a more realistic way to measure satisfaction.

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Fact 1: Our Limited Pie

The first stop for any pedestrian on a leisurely stroll through the busy economic streets of Shady Valley is Scarcity Stan's Ye Olde Bakery Shoppe and Confectionery Palace. The most noted pastry on Scarcity Stan's list of delectables, wedged between his mouth-watering apple danishes and scrumptious jelly donuts, is economic pie. My mouth waters with the thought.

Economic pie isn't like other donuts, cakes, and confectioneries with their gobs of sweetness, but very little nutritional sustenance. In fact, given that it refers to the sum total of the economy's resources and productive activity, economic pie is filled to the brim with sustenance. Unfortunately, Scarcity Stan and the congregation of people we call society, has only one economic pie, and while it's pretty large, it's never quite as big as we would like.
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time touring the new suburban shopping complex trying to buy either a half-dozen helium filled balloons or a packet of address labels large enough for addresses of both the sender and the recipient. Be on the lookout for empty parking spaces that appear to be near the entrance to a store.
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The first paper currency used in North America was pasteboard playing cards "temporarily" authorized as money by the colonial governor of French Canada, awaiting "real money" from France.
"It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly. "

-- Isaac Asimov

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