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April 14, 2024 

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ABSOLUTE POVERTY LEVEL: The amount of income a person or family needs to purchase an absolute amount of the basic necessities of life. These basic necessities are identified in terms of calories of food, BTUs of energy, square feet of living space, etc. The problem with the absolute poverty level is that there really are no absolutes when in comes to consuming goods. You can consume a given poverty level of calories eating relatively expensive steak, relatively inexpensive pasta, or garbage from a restaurant dumpster. The income needed to acquire each of these calorie "minimums" vary greatly. That's why some prefer a relative poverty level.

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CAPITALISM: A type of economy based on -- (1) private ownership of most resources, goods, and other stuff (private property); (2) freedom to generally use the privately-owned resources, goods, and other stuff to get the most wages, rent, interest, and profit possible; and (3) a system of relatively competitive markets. While government establishes the legal "rules of the game" for capitalism and provides assorted public goods, like national defense, education, and infrastructure, most production, consumption, and resource allocation decisions are left up to individual businesses and consumers. The term capitalism is derived from the notion that capital goods are under private, rather than government, ownership (compare communism, socialism.

     See also | market | capital | competition | private sector | public sector | free market | laissez faire | efficiency | allocation | government | resources | public good | production | consumption | incentive | equity | income distribution | distribution standards | second estate |


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LEGAL RESERVES

The combination of vault cash and Federal Reserve deposits that banks can legally use to satisfy government reserve requirements. Legal reserves, which can also be considered total reserves, are divided between require reserves and excess reserves. Required reserves are used to back up deposits and process daily transactions, while excess reserves are then available for interest-paying loans.

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