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ZERO-SUM GAME: A situation in which a fixed amount is divided up among the winners and losers. In a zero-sum game the wins equal the losses. Many stock market, or financial market, exchanges are zero-sum. One person buys low and sells high, while another buys high and sells low. The wealth in such transactions are merely transferred from one person to another. "Productive" market transactions, in contrast, are not zero-sum. The act of producing goods and services from resources that are consumed to satisfy wants and needs results in a net gain to society.

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CORPORATION: One of the three basic forms of business organization (the other two are proprietorship and partnership). A corporation is a business established through ownership shares (termed corporate stock). A corporation is considered a distinct legal person, that can be sued, forced to pay taxes, etc., just like a human person. Unlike proprietorships and partnerships businesses, a corporation business exists separately from its owners. As such, the owners have what lawyer-types term limited liability. Owners cannot be held personally responsible for corporate debts. The owners can only lose the value of their ownership shares, but no more.

     See also | business | firm | proprietorship | partnership | limited liability | average total cost | economies of scale | factory | liability | production | unlimited liability | corporate stock | corporate bond |


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COMPETITIVE MARKET

A market with a large number of buyers and sellers, such that no single buyer or seller is able to influence the price or control any other aspect of the market. That is, none of the participants have significant market control. A competitive market achieves efficiency in the allocation of scarce resources if no other market failures are present.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time calling an endless list of 800 numbers wanting to buy either a large, stuffed kitty cat or a cross-cut paper shredder. Be on the lookout for deranged pelicans.
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Three-forths of the gold mined each year is used to manufacture jewelry.
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

-- Martin Luther King, Jr., clergyman

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