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October 15, 2019 

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PERFECT COMPETITION, LOSS MINIMIZATION: A perfectly competitive firm is presumed to produce the quantity of output that minimizes economic losses, if price is greater than average variable cost but less than average total cost. This is one of three short-run production alternatives facing a firm. The other two are profit maximization (if price exceeds average total cost) and shutdown (if price is less than average variable cost).

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TAX AVOIDANCE: A legal reduction in taxes. The complexity of our system of taxes, especially income taxes, makes it extremely worthwhile to identify the mix of spending, working, and assorted activities that reduce taxes. This has also created a major industry of accountants, lawyers, educators, public speakers, and others who spend their efforts uncovering legal tax loopholes. In terms of the big efficiency picture, this is a waste of resources. Our lives would, in general, be better off if this tax avoidance industry devoted it's efforts to increasing gross domestic product rather than diverting it from one pocket to another. This, though, is not a fault of theirs, but of the tax system itself.

     See also | tax | income tax | efficiency | resources | gross domestic product | tax evasion | Internal Revenue Service |


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U-SHAPED COST CURVES

The family of short-run cost curves consisting of average total cost, average variable cost, and marginal cost, all of which have U-shapes. Each is U-shaped because it begins with relatively high but falling cost for small quantities of output, reaches a minimum value, then has rising cost at large quantities of output. Although the average fixed cost curve is not U-shaped, it is occasionally included with the other three just for sake of completeness.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time watching the shopping channel looking to buy either a three-hole paper punch or decorative picture frames. Be on the lookout for door-to-door salesmen.
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During the American Revolution, the price of corn rose 10,000 percent, the price of wheat 14,000 percent, the price of flour 15,000 percent, and the price of beef 33,000 percent.
"Give the American people a good cause, and there's nothing they can't lick. "

-- John Wayne, actor

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