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TAX: Any sort of forced or coerced payment to government. The primary reason government collects taxes is to get the revenue needed to finance public goods and pay administrative expenses. However, the more astute leaders of the first estate have recognized over the years that taxes have other effects, including--(1) redirecting resources from one good to another and (2) altering the total amount of production in the economy. As such, taxes have been used to correct market failures, equalize the income distribution, achieve efficiency, stabilize business cycles, and promote economic growth.

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ECONOMIC THINKING: A way of looking at, and analyzing, the way the world works by comparing the costs of an action with the benefits generated. Economic thinking arises from scarcity, which exists because wants and needs and unlimited but resources are limited. This means virtually all actions incur an opportunity cost. Identifying the cost of an action, no matter how hidden or subtle it may be, is the essence of economic thinking.

     See also | economics | opportunity cost | scarcity | unlimited wants and needs | limited resources |


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EXPANSIONARY FISCAL POLICY

A form of fiscal policy in which an increase in government purchases, a decrease in taxes, and/or an increase in transfer payments are used to correct the problems of a business-cycle contraction. The goal of expansionary fiscal policy is to close a recessionary gap, stimulate the economy, and decrease the unemployment rate. Expansionary fiscal policy is often supported by expansionary monetary policy. An alternative is contractionary fiscal policy.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a garage sale looking to buy either a T-shirt commemorating the 2000 Olympics or a genuine fake plastic Tiffany lamp. Be on the lookout for neighborhood pets, especially belligerent parrots.
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The first "Black Friday" on record, a friday marked by a major financial catastrophe, occurred on September 24, 1869 -- A FRIDAY -- when an attempted cornering of the gold market induced a financial crises and economy-wide depression.
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