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CENTRAL PLANNING: A system of extensive central government control of an economy, including organizing production and making allocation decisions. This was the popular method of allocating resources and answering the three basic questions of allocation under the communism/socialism economic systems of the Soviet Union, China, and others during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Applying the communist/socialist philosophy that private property and market allocation were "bad," central planning relied on extremely detailed plans made by government. These plans would set specific production quotas for individual products, parts, components, and inputs fabricated by all of the factories and farms across the economy. This was a daunting, complex task that required detailed production information for hundreds of thousands of different commodities.

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CONSTANT RETURNS TO SCALE

A given proportional change in all resources in the long run results in the same proportional change in production. Constant returns to scale exists if a firm increases ALL resources--labor, capital, and other inputs--by 10 percent, and output also increases by 10 percent. This is one of three returns to scale. The other two are increasing returns to scale and decreasing returns to scale.

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The Business About INVESTMENT

I had fun that last time we wandered into Shady Valley's very own Happy-Time Gala-World Fun-Land Amusement Park, didn't you? Let's stroll through it again, just to see what adventures we might find. Okay, I admit to an ulterior motive. The Happy-Time Gala-World Fun-Land Amusement Park recently added a new ride -- the Cap'n Space Fright Whirl. If you thought the Monster Loop Death Plunge roller coaster was exciting, then you're in for a real treat with this one. My interest in the Cap'n Space Fright Whirl, however, is NOT from the standpoint of risking a recently eaten meal. On the contrary, I'm going to don my pointy-headed economist disguise and check out this mass of twisted metal and high-flying cages as a prime example of capital. In the process we might be able to gain some insight into the whys and wherefors of the thing we call investment.
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through mail order catalogs trying to buy either a New York Yankees baseball cap or a solid oak entertainment center. Be on the lookout for the happiest person in the room.
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