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June 22, 2018 

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DISCRETIONARY POLICY: Government policies that involve explicit actions designed to achieve specific goals. A common type of discretionary policy is that designed to stabilize business cycles, reduce unemployment, and lower inflation, through government spending and taxes (fiscal policy) or the money supply (monetary policy). Discretionary policies are also termed activist policies because they involve active decisions by government. A contrast to discretionary policy is automatic stabilizers that help stabilize business cycles without explicit government actions.

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PATERNALISM: A fundamental philosophical viewpoint that the private sector (households and businesses) needs to be watched over--like a parent--by the public sector (government). In other words, members of society need to be watched over, cared for, and kept out of trouble, like parents watch over, care for, and keep their children out of trouble. This philosophy of paternalism should be contrasted directly with the philosophy of laissez faire, which essentially says "Hey, we're all grown ups here, we can make our own decisions."

     See also | government | public sector | business | private sector | laissez faire | liberal | conservative | first estate | second estate | third estate | regulation | social regulation | market failures | externalities | market control | demand-management policies | stabilization policies | unemployment | business cycles |


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SAVING FUNCTION

A mathematical relation between saving and income by the household sector. The saving function can be stated as an equation, usually a simple linear equation, or as a diagram designated as the saving line. This function captures the saving-income relation, the flip side of the consumption-income relation that forms one of the key building blocks for Keynesian economics. The two key parameters of the saving function are the intercept term, which indicates autonomous saving, and the slope, which is the marginal propensity to save and indicates induced saving. The injections-leakages model used in Keynesian economics is based on the saving function.

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