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July 23, 2019 

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ABILITY-TO-PAY PRINCIPLE: A principle of taxation in which taxes are based on the income or resource-ownership ability of people to pay the tax. The income tax collected by our friends at the Internal Revenue Service is one of the most common taxes that seeks to abide by the ability-to-pay principle. In theory, the income tax system is set up such that people with greater incomes pay more taxes. Proportional and progressive taxes follow this ability-to-pay principle, while regressive taxes, such as sales taxes and Social Security taxes, don't.

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PARETO EFFICIENCY: A type of efficiency that results if one person can not be made better off without making someone else worse off. Named after Vilfredo Pareto, this criterion is the guiding theoretical notion of efficiency used in the study of economics, especially welfare economics. Pareto efficiency is generally not attained if some resources are idle or unemployed. By engaging idle resources in production, some people can have more production without reducing that available to others. A problem with Pareto efficiency, however, is that it is based on the existing distribution of income and wealth. This is one of two noted efficiency criteria used in economics. The other is Kaldor-Hicks efficiency.

     See also | efficiency | Pareto improvement | Kaldor-Hicks efficiency | welfare economics | externality | market failure | unemployment | resources | income distribution | wealth distribution | distribution standards |


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SURPLUS

A condition in the market in which the quantity demanded is less than the quantity supplied at the existing price. Because sellers are unable to sell as much of the good as they want, a surplus generally causes a decrease in the market price, which then acts to restore equilibrium. A surplus, which also goes by the terms excess supply and buyers' market, is one of two basic states of disequilibrium for the market. The other is shortage.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at an auction trying to buy either a package of 3 by 5 index cards, the ones without lines or a blue mechanical pencil. Be on the lookout for mail order catalogs with hidden messages.
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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.
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