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September 15, 2019 

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LAFFER CURVE: The graphical inverted-U relation between tax rates and total tax collections by government. Developed by economist Arthur Laffer, the Laffer curve formed a key theoretical foundation for supply-side economics of President Reagan during the 1980s. It is based on the notion that government collects zero revenue if the tax rate is 0% and if the tax rate is 100%. At a 100% tax rate no one has the incentive to work, produce, and earn income, so there is no income to tax. As such, the optimum tax rate, in which government revenue is maximized, lies somewhere between 0% and 100%. This generates a curve shaped like and inverted U, rising from zero to a peak, then falling back to zero. If the economy is operating to the right of the peak, then government revenue can be increased by decreasing the tax rate. This was used to justify supply-side economic policies during the Reagan Administration, especially the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (Kemp-Roth Act).

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CARTEL: A formal agreement between businesses in the same industry, usually on an international scale, to get market control, raise the market price, and otherwise act like a monopoly. A cartel tends to be unstable because the artificially high prices it sets gives each member of the cartel an incentive to "cheat" with a slightly lower price. When only one member of the cartel lowers the price, it can make oodles of profit by taking customers away from the other members. If they all cheat, the cartel falls apart. While cartels damage efficiency, they're power is often short-lived because of this cheating. Like collusion and other techniques of market control, cartels are illegal in the United States.

     See also | collusion | market control | oligopoly | monopoly | industry | efficiency | profit | antitrust laws |


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SLOPE, AGGREGATE DEMAND CURVE

The negative slope of aggregate demand curve, reflecting the inverse relation between the price level and aggregate expenditures on real production, is attributable to three primary effects--real-balance effect, interest-rate effect, and net-export effect.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time touring the new suburban shopping complex seeking to buy either a set of luggage with wheels or a birthday gift for your aunt. Be on the lookout for telephone calls from former employers.
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Parker Brothers, the folks who produce the Monopoly board game, prints more Monopoly money each year than real currency printed by the U.S. government.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. "

-- Aldous Huxley, writer

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