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ZERO-BASE BUDGET: A method of budgeting expenditures in which each expenditure is justified on its overall merits rather than being based on the budget for the previous year. A zero-base budget is most often proposed (but seldom implemented) for governments. Governments generally establish budget expenditures based on expenditures for the previous year. If, for example, budget expenditures last year were $100 billion, the requested budget for this year might be set at $110 billion. The existing $100 billion is a "given" and only the extra $10 billion is justified. With a zero-base budget, the entire $110 billion is justified.

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ECONOMY: The system of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services that a society uses to address the problem of scarcity. The essential task of an economy is to transform resources into useful goods and services (the act of production), then distribute or allocate these products to useful ends (the act of consumption). Virtually all economies accomplish this task through a combination of decisions made through voluntary market exchanges and involuntary government rules and regulations.

     See also | economic system | three questions of allocation | institution | household sector | business sector | government sector | limited resources | unlimited wants and needs | ownership and control | resources | capitalism | private sector | public sector | private property | mixed economy | market-oriented economy | communism | socialism | pure market economy | pure command economy | first estate | second estate | third estate | fourth estate |


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WHOLESALE PRICE INDEX

An index of the prices paid by retail stores for the products they ultimately resell to consumers. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was the forerunner of the modern Producer Price Index (PPI) and was discontinued in 1978. Other noted price indexes used to track economic activity are the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the GDP price deflator.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time waiting for visits from door-to-door solicitors hoping to buy either handcrafted decorations to hang on your walls or throw pillows for your bed. Be on the lookout for jovial bank tellers.
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Paper money used by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prior to the U.S. Revolutionary War, which was issued against the dictates of Britain, was designed by patriot and silversmith, Paul Revere.
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