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OPPORTUNITY COST: The highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity. This is a hallmark of anything dealing with economics--and life for that matter--because any action that you take prevents you from doing something else. The ultimate source of opportunity cost is the pervasive problem of scarcity (unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources). Whenever limited resources are used to satisfy one want or need, there are an unlimited number of other wants and needs that remain unsatisfied. Herein lies the essence of opportunity cost. Doing one thing prevents doing another.

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CURRENT ACCOUNT: One of two parts of a nation's balance of payments (the other is capital account). It is a record of all trade, exports and imports, between a nation and the rest of the world. The current account is separated into merchandise, services, and what's called unilateral transfers. The merchandise part is nothing other than the well-known balance of trade. There's also a lesser known balance of services -- the difference between services imported and exported.

     See also | balance of trade | capital account | money | export | import | balance of services | balance of payments | asset | foreign | domestic | foreign aid | capital account surplus | capital account deficit |


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TAX PROPORTIONALITY

The proportion of income paid in taxes at different levels of income. In some cases the proportion of income paid in taxes increases with income in other cases it decreases. And in still other cases, it remains the same. Tax proportionality comes in three alternatives -- proportional tax (different incomes pay the same proportion in tax), progressive tax (higher incomes pay a higher proportion in tax), and regressive (lower incomes pay a higher proportion in tax).

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time watching the shopping channel looking to buy either throw pillows for your bed or a package of blank rewritable CDs. Be on the lookout for broken fingernail clippers.
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A half gallon milk jug holds about $50 in pennies.
"There's a very positive relationship between people's ability to accomplish any task and the time they're willing to spend on it."

-- Dr. Joyce Brothers

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