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FICA: The abbreviation for Federal Insurance Contributions Act, passed in 1939, which established payroll deductions from wage-earning employees and the employers for the Social Security system. This is the noted Social Security tax that wage earners pay and which is then used to provide Social Security benefits to the elderly, disable, and qualified dependents.

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FISCAL POLICY: Use of the federal government's powers of spending and taxation to stabilize the business cycle. If the economy is mired in a recession, then the appropriate fiscal policy is to increase spending or reduce taxes--termed expansionary policy. During periods of high inflation, the opposite actions are needed--contractionary policy. The consequences of fiscal policy are typically observed in terms of the federal deficit.

     See also | government sector | stabilization policies | government purchases | taxes | transfer payments | federal deficit | full-employment budget | business cycle | recession | contraction | expansion | unemployment | inflation | crowding out | expansionary fiscal policy | contractionary fiscal policy | automatic stabilizer | monetary policy | recessionary gap | inflationary gap |


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AGGREGATE MARKET

An economic model relating the price level and real production that is used to analyze business cycles, gross production, unemployment, inflation, stabilization policies, and related macroeconomic phenomena. The aggregate market, inspired by the standard market model, but adapted to the macroeconomy, captures the interaction between aggregate demand (the buyers) and short-run and long-run aggregate supply (the sellers). Also known by the names AS-AD model or income-price model, the aggregate market is THE cornerstone model of macroeconomic analysis.

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