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January 16, 2021 

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ABSOLUTE POVERTY: The amount of income a person or family needs to purchase an absolute amount of the basic necessities of life. These basic necessities are identified in terms of calories of food, BTUs of energy, square feet of living space, etc. The problem with the absolute poverty level is that there really are no absolutes when in comes to consuming goods. You can consume a given poverty level of calories eating relatively expensive steak, relatively inexpensive pasta, or garbage from a restaurant dumpster. The income needed to acquire each of these calorie "minimums" vary greatly. That's why some prefer relative poverty.

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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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VARIABLE COST

In general, cost that changes with changes in the quantity of output produced. More specifically, variable cost is combined with the adjectives "total" and "average" to indicate the overall level of variable cost or the per unit variable cost. Variable cost depends on the amount produced. If there is no production, then there is no variable cost.

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In the late 1800s and early 1900s, almost 2 million children were employed as factory workers.
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