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ANTITRUST LAWS: A series of laws passed by the U. S. government that tries to maintain competition and prevent businesses from getting a monopoly or otherwise obtaining and exerting market control. The first of these, the Sherman Antitrust Act, was passed in 1890. Two others, the Clayton Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act, were enacted in 1914. These laws impose all sorts of restrictions on business ownership, control, mergers, pricing, and how businesses go about competing (or cooperating) with each other.

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AXIOM: A basic precondition or assumption underlying a theory. Axioms are basic, unverifiable world view assumptions, including personal beliefs, political views, and cultural values, that form the foundation of a theory. These axioms can not be verified with real world data, and as such are largely accepted on faith. Belief in a supreme, omnipotent, omniscience being is one such axiom. The notion that people are basically good (or bad) is another. The presumption that the universe abides by cause-and-effect relationships is a key axiom for science.

     See also | assumption | theory | world view | cause and effect | science | scientific method | economic analysis |


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FIXED INPUT

An input whose quantity cannot be changed in the time period under consideration. The relevant time period is usually termed the short run. The most common example of a fixed input is capital. The alternative to fixed input is variable input. A fixed input, such as capital, provides the "capacity" constraint for the short-run production of a firm. A variable input, such as labor, provides the means of changing short-run production. As larger quantities of a variable input are added to a fixed input, the variable input becomes less productive, which is the law of diminishing marginal returns.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites seeking to buy either a microwave over that won't burn your popcorn or a T-shirt commemorating the first day of winter. Be on the lookout for florescent light bulbs that hum folk songs from the sixties.
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The portion of aggregate output U.S. citizens pay in taxes (30%) is less than the other six leading industrialized nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, or Japan.
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