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PEAK: The transition of a business cycle from an expansion and a contraction. The end of an expansions carries the descriptive term peak. At the peak, the economy has reached the highest level of production in recent times. The bad thing about a peak, however, is that it is a turning point, a turning point to a contraction. So even though a peak is the "highest" is not necessarily something we want. We would prefer never to reach the peak.

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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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AVERAGE FIXED COST

Total fixed cost per unit of output, found by dividing total fixed cost by the quantity of output. When compared with price (per unit revenue), average fixed cost (AFC) indicates whether or not a profit-maximizing firm should shutdown production in the short run. Average fixed cost is one of three average cost concepts important to short-run production analysis. The other two are average total cost and average variable cost. A related concept is marginal cost.

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