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March 23, 2019 

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PERSONAL INCOME TAX: A tax on individual income. This is the primary source of revenue for the federal government, a big source for many state and local governments, and the reason most people dread April 15th. In principle, personal income taxes are progressive, based on a graduated tax scale. However, it's much more proportional today than it was several decades ago.

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BIG BUSINESS: A small number of the largest businesses (usually corporations) in our economy that (1) produce a substantial share of total output, (2) control a bunch of our economy's resources, and (3) have a great deal of market control in their respective industries. A listing of the Fortune 500 companies provides an idea for those businesses that have achieved the status of "big." The second estate obtains most its members from the presidents, shareholders, boards of directors, and high-level managers of big business.

     See also | business | corporation | economy | resources | market control | industry | Fortune 500 | second estate | small business |


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ACCOUNTING COST

An actual outlay or expenses incurred in the production of a good that shows up in a firm's accounting statements and records. Accounting cost is an explicit payment (that is, money changing hands) incurred by a firm. Accounting cost, while very important to accountants, company CEOs, shareholders, and the Internal Revenue Service, is only minimally important to economists. The reason is that economists are more interested in economic cost (also called opportunity cost), which is the value of foregone production.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time waiting for visits from door-to-door solicitors hoping to buy either a New York Yankees baseball cap or a solid oak entertainment center. Be on the lookout for poorly written technical manuals.
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