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DI: The abbreviation for disposable income,which is the total income that can be used by the household sector for either consumption or saving during a given period of time, usually one year. This is the income left over after income taxes and social security taxes are removed and government transfer payments, like welfare, social security benefits, or unemployment compensation are added. Because consumption and saving are important to our economy for short-run stability and long-run growth, pointy-headed economists like to keep a close eye on disposable personal income. Disposable income is reported quarterly (every three months) in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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ECONOMIC POLICIES: Government actions designed to affect economic activity and pursue one or more economic goals. Also called economic policies. The four common types of government policies are: fiscal, monetary, regulatory, and judicial.

     See also | government | fiscal policy | monetary policy | regulatory policy | judicial policy | economic goals |


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ACCOUNTING COST

An actual outlay or expenses incurred in the production of a good that shows up in a firm's accounting statements and records. Accounting cost is an explicit payment (that is, money changing hands) incurred by a firm. Accounting cost, while very important to accountants, company CEOs, shareholders, and the Internal Revenue Service, is only minimally important to economists. The reason is that economists are more interested in economic cost (also called opportunity cost), which is the value of foregone production.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through mail order catalogs hoping to buy either a coffee cup commemorating the first day of winter or a video game player. Be on the lookout for the happiest person in the room.
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The first paper currency used in North America was pasteboard playing cards "temporarily" authorized as money by the colonial governor of French Canada, awaiting "real money" from France.
"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. "

-- Hugh White, U.S. Senator

ACIR
Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations
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