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INCOME DISTRIBUTION: The manner in which income is divided among the members of the economy. A perfectly equal income distribution would mean everyone in the country has exactly the same income. The income distribution in the good old U. S. of A., while more equal than most nations of the world, is far from perfectly equal. A certain amount of inequality in the income distribution is to be expected because resources are never equally distributed. Some labor is naturally going to be more productive--better able to produce the stuff that consumers want--and thus get more income. The same is true for capital, land, entrepreneurship. However, without government intervention, an unequal distribution of income tends to perpetuate itself. Those who have more income, can invest in additional productive resources, and thus can add even more to their income.

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REGULATION, CAPTURE THEORY: Control of a regulatory agency by those entities, usually the businesses of a particular industry, that the agency is designed to regulate. Those industries subject to economic regulation that is intended to protect the public interest (consumers) invariably find it beneficial to exert influence over the regulatory agency. One common way of doing this is to have former or future employees in the industry "temporarily" work for the regulatory agency.

     See also | regulation | government functions | industry | market failure | antitrust laws |


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BALANCE OF TRADE

The difference between the value of goods and services exported out of a country and the value of goods and services imported into the country. The balance of trade is the official term for net exports that makes up the balance of payments. The balance of trade can be a "favorable" surplus (exports exceed imports) or an "unfavorable" deficit (imports exceed exports). The official balance of trade is separated into the balance of merchandise trade for tangible goods and the balance of services.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time watching infomercials looking to buy either high-gloss photo paper that works with your printer or a desktop calendar with all federal and state holidays highlighted. Be on the lookout for strangers with large satchels of used undergarments.
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The first "Black Friday" on record, a friday marked by a major financial catastrophe, occurred on September 24, 1869 -- A FRIDAY -- when an attempted cornering of the gold market induced a financial crises and economy-wide depression.
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