March 23, 2018 

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ABSTRACTION: Simplifying the complexities of the real world by ignoring (hopefully) unimportant details while doing economic analysis. Abstraction is often criticized because it's, well, it's JUST NOT REALISTIC. However, when done correctly (ignoring things that JUST DON'T MATTER), then the pursuit of knowledge is greatly enhanced by abstraction. For example, when travelling cross country along a high-speed interstate highway, a paper road map is a handy tool. It shows towns and cities along the way, the major intersections, rest stop locations, and other important points of interest. However, it ignores unimportant details. It doesn't realistically show the location of every tree, bush, or blade of grass. Why bother? This information won't enhance your road trip.

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GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT: The total market value of all goods and services produced by the citizens of an economy during a given period of time, usually one year. Gross national product, often abbreviated simply as GNP, was once the federal government's official measure of how much output our economy produces. In the early 1990s, however, it was replaced by gross domestic product (GDP).

     See also | gross domestic product | net foreign factor income | net national product | national income |

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A tax specified as a percentage of the price or value of a good, service, asset, or other activity. Ad valorem taxes tend to be broad based, imposed on activities such as income and retail sales. In fact, the two most important ad valorem taxes are income taxes and sales taxes. People pay a percentage of their incomes in income taxes or a percentage or the value of their purchases in sales taxes, regardless of the amount of time spent working or the quantities of goods purchases. An alternative is a per unit tax, with is a tax specified as a percentage of the physical quantity of a good.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time looking for the new strip mall out on the highway seeking to buy either a wall poster commemorating the 2000 Olympics or a flower arrangement with a lot of roses for your grandmother. Be on the lookout for celebrities who speak directly to you through your television.
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Approximately three-fourths of the U.S. paper currency in circular contains traces of cocaine.
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