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HORIZONTAL MERGER: The consolidation under a single ownership of two separately-owned businesses in the same industry. An example of a horizontal merger would be two soft drink companies merging to form a single firm. A horizontal merger should be contrasted with vertical merger--two firms in different stages of the production of one good, such that the output of one business is the input of the other; and conglomerate merger--two firms in totally, completely separate industries.

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TAXES: Any sort of forced or coerced payments to government. The primary reason government collects taxes is to get the revenue needed to finance public goods and pay administrative expenses. However, the more astute leaders of the first estate have recognized over the years that taxes have other effects, including--(1) redirecting resources from one good to another and (2) altering the total amount of production in the economy. As such, taxes have been used to correct market failures, equalize the income distribution, achieve efficiency, stabilize business cycles, and promote economic growth.

     See also | government sector | government | public good | first estate | public sector | market failure | income distribution | business cycle | economic growth | efficiency | income tax | personal income tax | corporate income tax | sales tax | capital gains tax | excise tax | value-added tax | Social Security tax | gift tax | inheritance tax | subsidy |


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PEAK

The transition of a business-cycle expansion to a business-cycle contraction. The end of an expansion carries this descriptive term of peak, or the highest level of economic reached in recent times. A peak is one of two turning points. The other, the transition from contraction to expansion, is a trough. Turning points are important because they represent the transition from bad to good or good to bad.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing about a thrift store wanting to buy either a replacement remote control for your stereo system or a computer that can play video games and burn DVDs. Be on the lookout for broken fingernail clippers.
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Parker Brothers, the folks who produce the Monopoly board game, prints more Monopoly money each year than real currency printed by the U.S. government.
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