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LAFFER CURVE: The graphical inverted-U relation between tax rates and total tax collections by government. Developed by economist Arthur Laffer, the Laffer curve formed a key theoretical foundation for supply-side economics of President Reagan during the 1980s. It is based on the notion that government collects zero revenue if the tax rate is 0% and if the tax rate is 100%. At a 100% tax rate no one has the incentive to work, produce, and earn income, so there is no income to tax. As such, the optimum tax rate, in which government revenue is maximized, lies somewhere between 0% and 100%. This generates a curve shaped like and inverted U, rising from zero to a peak, then falling back to zero. If the economy is operating to the right of the peak, then government revenue can be increased by decreasing the tax rate. This was used to justify supply-side economic policies during the Reagan Administration, especially the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (Kemp-Roth Act).

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NEED: This is often thought of as a physiological or biological requirement for maintaining life, such as the need for air, water, food, shelter, and sleep. Satisfaction is achieved by fulfilling needs. Physiological needs should be contrasted with psychological wants that make life more enjoyable but are not necessary to stay alive. However, when push comes to shove, and the nitty gets down to the gritty, it matters very little to markets if people need goods or want goods, so long as they are motivated to satisfy them. This motivation is what drives economic activity.

     See also | wants | satisfaction | unlimited wants and needs | scarcity | limited resources |


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VERY SHORT RUN, MICROECONOMICS

A production period of time in which at all inputs in the production process are fixed, meaning the quantity of output itself is fixed. Also termed market period, the very short run exists if the period is so short that no additional production is possible. In other words, the good has been produced, all that remains is to sell it. This is one of four production time periods used in the study of microeconomics. The other three are short run, long run, and very long run.

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Francis Bacon (1561-1626), a champion of the scientific method, died when he caught a severe cold while attempting to preserve a chicken by filling it with snow.
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