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TOTAL COST CURVE: A curve that graphically represents the relation between total cost incurred by a firm in the short-run production of a good or service and the quantity produced. The total cost curve is a cornerstone upon which the analysis of a firm's short-run production is built. It combines all of a firm's opportunity costs into a single curve, which can then be used with the firm's total revenue curve to determine profit.

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LAISSEZ FAIRE: A french term that translates into "leave us alone." It has become the rallying cry for many business leaders of the second estate who oppose government intervention, regulation, or even taxation. It's based on the belief that markets alone can achieve an efficient allocation of our resources. This laissez faire philosophy of should be contrasted directly with the philosophy of paternalism, which essentially says "Government needs to care for you because you can't care for yourself."

     See also | market | free enterprise | market-oriented economy | classical economics | Smith, Adam | efficiency | invisible hand | first estate | second estate | private sector | public sector | government | market failures | externalities | business cycles | unemployment | depression | market control |


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LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Ten economic statistics that tend to move up or down a few months BEFORE business-cycle expansions and contractions. Most importantly, these measures indicate peak and trough turning points about three to twelve months before they occur. Leading economic indicators are one of three groups of economic measures used to track business-cycle activity. The other two are coincident economic indicators and lagging economic indicators.

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