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LAFFER CURVE: The graphical inverted-U relation between tax rates and total tax collections by government. Developed by economist Arthur Laffer, the Laffer curve formed a key theoretical foundation for supply-side economics of President Reagan during the 1980s. It is based on the notion that government collects zero revenue if the tax rate is 0% and if the tax rate is 100%. At a 100% tax rate no one has the incentive to work, produce, and earn income, so there is no income to tax. As such, the optimum tax rate, in which government revenue is maximized, lies somewhere between 0% and 100%. This generates a curve shaped like and inverted U, rising from zero to a peak, then falling back to zero. If the economy is operating to the right of the peak, then government revenue can be increased by decreasing the tax rate. This was used to justify supply-side economic policies during the Reagan Administration, especially the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (Kemp-Roth Act).

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SUPER MAJORITY RULE: A voting rule in which decisions are made based on a specified fraction of votes greater than 50 percent and less than 100 percent. For example, a super majority of two-thirds is required for Congress to override a legislative veto by the President. A growing number of state and local governments require a super majority approval, usually in the range of 60 to 75 percent, for an increase in taxes. This is one of several voting rules. Others include majority, unanimity, and plurality.

     See also | public choice | majority rule | unanimity rule | plurality rule | voter paradox | principle of the median voter | logrolling | explicit logrolling | implicit logrolling | Tiebout hypothesis | principal-agent problem |


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FULL EMPLOYMENT

The state that occurs when all of the economy's resources are engaged in the production of output. In practice, an economy is considered to be at full employment when the unemployment rate is around 5 to 5 1/2 percent and the capacity utilization rate of capital is about 85 percent. This is one of the five economic goals and three macroeconomic goals.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time searching the newspaper want ads hoping to buy either throw pillows for your bed or a package of blank rewritable CDs. Be on the lookout for slow moving vehicles with darkened windows.
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