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March 2, 2024 

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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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RATE OF RETURN: The ratio of the additional annual income or profit generated by an investment to the cost of the investment. Here's a simple example, although the calculations are usually a great deal more involved for actual investments. If the cost of constructing a new factory is $10 million and it gives you an extra $1 million in profit each year, then its rate of return is 10 percent.

     See also | interest rate | investment | financial markets | income | profit | uncertainty | capital | human capital | education | infrastructure | yield |


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MONEY FUNCTIONS

Any item used as money in an economy automatically takes on four basic functions: (1) medium of exchange, (2) unit of account, (3) store of value, and (4) standard of deferred payment. While "buying and selling" means that money is THE medium of exchange, and by far THE most important function of money, money also performs unit of account, store of value, and standard of deferred payment functions.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling through a department store hoping to buy either a birthday gift for your mother or a weathervane with a horse on top. Be on the lookout for door-to-door salesmen.
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Much of the $15 million used by the United States to finance the Louisiana Purchase from France was borrowed from European banks.
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