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ABILITY-TO-PAY PRINCIPLE: A principle of taxation in which taxes are based on the income or resource-ownership ability of people to pay the tax. The income tax collected by our friends at the Internal Revenue Service is one of the most common taxes that seeks to abide by the ability-to-pay principle. In theory, the income tax system is set up such that people with greater incomes pay more taxes. Proportional and progressive taxes follow this ability-to-pay principle, while regressive taxes, such as sales taxes and Social Security taxes, don't.

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PUBLIC CHOICE: A branch of economics that applies economic analysis to public (that is, government) decision-making, including voting behavior, legislative law-making, and related issues. Some of the more noted public choice principles include the voting paradox, logrolling, and the principle of the median voter.

     See also | political business cycle | fifth rule of imperfection | government | economic analysis |


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PERFECT COMPETITION, DEMAND

The demand curve for the output produced by a perfectly competitive firm is perfectly elastic at the going market price. The firm can sell all of the output that it wants at this price because it is a relatively small part of the market. As a price taker, the firm has no ability to charge a higher price and no reason to charge a lower one. The market price facing a perfectly competitive firm is also average revenue and, most important, marginal revenue.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time going from convenience store to convenience store seeking to buy either a pleather CD case or a how-to book on fine dining. Be on the lookout for bottles of barbeque sauce that act TOO innocent.
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Woodrow Wilson's portrait adorned the $100,000 bill that was removed from circulation in 1929. Woodrow Wilson was removed from circulation in 1924.
"I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. "

-- Ronald Reagan, 40th US president

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