March 20, 2018 

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RATE OF RETURN: The ratio of the additional annual income or profit generated by an investment to the cost of the investment. Here's a simple example, although the calculations are usually a great deal more involved for actual investments. If the cost of constructing a new factory is $10 million and it gives you an extra $1 million in profit each year, then its rate of return is 10 percent.

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TRADE BARRIER: A restriction, invariably by government, that prevents free trade among countries. The more popular trade restrictions are tariffs, import quotas, and assorted nontariff barriers. An occasional embargo will be even thrown into this mix. The primary use of trade barriers is to restrict imports from entering in country. By restring imports, domestic producers of the restricted goods are protected from competition and are even subsidized through higher prices. Consumers, though, get the short end of this stick with higher prices and a limited choice of goods. In that producers tend to have more political clout than consumers, it's pretty obvious why trade barriers are a "natural" state of affairs.

     See also | foreign trade | free trade | tariff | import | quota | embargo | export | competition | subsidy | GATT |

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A generally accepted, verified, proven, fundamental scientific relation. A law is a scientifically certified, thoroughly verified, cause-and-effect relation about the workings of the world. It has been tested and retested through the scientific method. The law of demand, law of increasing opportunity cost, and law of diminishing marginal utility are three fundamental (and extremely important) economic laws of nature.

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