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NATIONAL INCOME AND GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: National income (NI) is the total income earned by the citizens of the national economy resulting from their ownership of resources used in the production of final goods and services during a given period of time, usually one year. Gross domestic product (GDP) is the total market value of all final goods and services produced within the political boundaries of an economy during a given period of time, usually a year. Although national income is generated by the production of gross domestic product, the value of production does not entirely result in earned income. In other words, national income can be derived from gross domestic product after a few adjustments.

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SCARCITY: A pervasive condition of human existence that exists because society has unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources used for their satisfaction. In other words, while we all want a bunch of stuff, we can't have everything that we want. In slightly different words, this scarcity problem means: (1) that there's never enough resources to produce everything that everyone would like produced; (2) that some people will have to do without some of the stuff that they want or need; (3) that doing one thing, producing one good, performing one activity, forces society to give up something else; and (4) that the same resources can not be used to produce two different goods at the same time. We live in a big, bad world of scarcity. This big, bad world of scarcity is what the study of economics is all about. That's why we usually subtitle scarcity: THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM.

     See also | first rule of scarcity | unlimited wants and needs | limited resources | satisfaction | resources | wants | needs | production | consumption | economics | opportunity cost | scarce resource |


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TAX PROPORTIONALITY

The proportion of income paid in taxes at different levels of income. In some cases the proportion of income paid in taxes increases with income in other cases it decreases. And in still other cases, it remains the same. Tax proportionality comes in three alternatives -- proportional tax (different incomes pay the same proportion in tax), progressive tax (higher incomes pay a higher proportion in tax), and regressive (lower incomes pay a higher proportion in tax).

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