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January 18, 2019 

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MARGINAL PROPENSITY TO CONSUME: The proportion of each additional dollar of household income that is used for consumption expenditures. Or alternatively, this is the change in consumption expenditures due to a change in disposable income. Abbreviated MPC, the marginal propensity to consume is the slope of the consumption or propensity-to-consume line that forms the foundation for Keynesian economics. As such, it also takes center stage for the slope of the aggregate expenditure line and the multiplier effect. The sum of the marginal propensity to consume and the related concept, the marginal propensity to save, is equal to one.

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WELFARE: An assortment of programs that provide assistance to the poor. The cornerstone of our welfare system is Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), which was created by the Social Security Act (1935). It provides cash benefits to assist needy families with children under the age of 18. Funding comes partly from the federal government and partly from states. Because states also administer their own programs, benefits and qualification criteria differ from state to state. A second part of the welfare system, one that's run entirely by the federal government, is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program provides cash benefits to elderly, blind, and disabled in addition to any benefits received through the Social Security system. Our welfare system includes a whole bunch of additional benefits, including Medicaid, food stamps, low-cost housing, school lunches, job training, day care, and earned-income tax credits.

     See also | poverty | Social Security | transfer payment |


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FRACTIONAL-RESERVE BANKING

A method of banking activity in which banks keep less than 100 percent of their deposits in the form of bank reserves and use the rest for interest-paying loans. Fractional-reserve banking makes it possible for banks to function as profit-seeking financial intermediaries (matching up lenders and borrowers) while ensuring the safety and liquidity of deposits, especially checkable deposits that are part of the economy's money supply.

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