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July 20, 2018 

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REGRESSIVE TAX: A tax in which people with more income pay a smaller percentage in taxes. A regressive tax is given by this example--You earn $10,000 a year and your boss gets $20,000. You pay $2,000 in taxes (20 percent) while your boss also pays $2,000 in taxes (10 percent). Examples of regressive taxes abound (is this surprising given the political clout of the wealthy?), including sales tax, excise tax, and Social Security tax.

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THIRD ESTATE:

Another term for consumers and the household sector. This is one of four divisions of society based on economic function. The other three are government as the first estate, businesses as the second estate, and journalists as the fourth estate.
The notion of dividing society into different "estates" has roots in 18th century France, in which clergy and religious leaders were considered the first estate, royalty and aristocracy were the second estate, and peasants, serfs, and the working class were viewed as the third estate. Inventive journalists extended this classification to include themselves as the fourth estate.

The modern estates retain the essence of this division with an update to the realities of the modern economy. Government leaders and politicians, rather than clergy, assume their position in the first estate. Business leaders, rather than royalty, take over rule of the second estate. Rank-and-file consumers and those in the working class make up the third estate. And journalists continue as the fourth estate.

In past centuries, the third estate included the peasants, serfs, or slaves who performed the dirty deeds for the first two estates. In modern times, this is the workers, taxpayers, and consumers who have limited ownership of and control over resources--often little more than their own labor. The third estate, which forms the backbone of any modern economy, is usually at odds with the business leaders of the second estate. Help occasional comes from the government leaders of the first estate or the journalists of the fourth estate.

Consider the case of Pollyanna Pumpernickel, a divorced mother of two, who currently works as an administrative assistant (that is, clerical secretary) for an insurance agent. Paula has been working in similar jobs since high school. She is paid slightly more than minimum wage, has no savings or financial investments, and generally lives from paycheck to paycheck. Paula is a representative member of the third estate.

<= THIRD-DEGREE PRICE DISCRIMINATIONTHIRD RULE OF INEQUALITY =>


Recommended Citation:

THIRD ESTATE, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: July 20, 2018].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | four estates | first estate | second estate | fourth estate |


Or For A Little Background...

     | public sector | private sector |


And For Further Study...

     | consumer sovereignty | government functions | ownership and control | three questions of allocation | economic system | seven economic rules | household sector | macroeconomic sectors | consumption | unemployment | unemployment problems |


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