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BUDGET DEFICIT: An excess of budgetary expenditures over revenues. The federal government is well known for its inclination to operate with a budget deficit. But it is not alone. Consumers also find themselves in this position on many occasions. When a budget deficit occurs, the excess spending is financed through borrowing. For the federal government this involves issuing government securities. For households it typically involves some sort of bank loan, credit card purchase, use of savings (borrowing from thyself), or hitting a friend up for a few bucks.

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THEORY: A scientifically verified, interrelated body of general principles, axioms, and assumptions that is used to explain and understand real world phenomena. Theories are the cornerstone of the scientific method. They generate the hypotheses that are verified against real world data, which is the day-to-day process of doing science. The construction and refinement of theories, accomplished through the hypothesis verification process, is also the basic goal of doing science.

     See also | scientific method | phenomenon | hypothesis | principle | verification | axiom | world view | cause and effect | data | law of demand | economics | science | social science | physical science |


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CETERIS PARIBUS

A Latin term meaning that other factors remain unchanged. Ceteris paribus is commonly used as an assumption when conducting a wide variety of economic analyses. By holding everything else constant, the ceteris paribus assumption makes it possible to identify the cause-and-effect relation between two factors. Relaxing the ceteris paribus assumption is the primary analytical technique used in the comparative statics study of economics.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites wanting to buy either a black duffle bag with velcro closures or any book written by Isaac Asimov. Be on the lookout for empty parking spaces that appear to be near the entrance to a store.
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