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February 28, 2020 

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LOCAL BONDS: Also called municipal bonds, these are medium or long-term financial instruments issued by municipalities to borrow the funds used to build schools, highways, parks and other public projects. An attractive feature of these financial instruments is that are exempt from federal income tax. Commercial banks, corporations, and others with large sums of funds to lend usually purchase these bonds.

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Fact 4: Our Monopolized Markets

Our pedestrian's jaunt through the economy is not, unfortunately, an unrestrained shopping spree for confectioneries, spark plug tools, and Houston, Texas. We have other important errands to run. At the moment we need to hike over to Shady Valley's exclusive provider of cable television services, the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television Company, Inc., to inquire about a mysterious fee that appeared last month's bill.

The good news is that the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters (the 4M people) Cable office is a mere 2 miles (3 kilometers for the metrically inclined) from the Shady Valley Central Town Sprawling Hills Shopping Mall. A hop, skip, and a moderately long jump later, our excursion through the economy takes us to the front door of the 4M Cable Television Company where I hope to discover why last month's cable bill included a $3,569 charge for something called "The Vacation Channel." I didn't even know I had a vacation channel. (But, I'm sure it's a great channel, and if I don't have it, then I will certainly subscribe. Please don't disconnect me.)

Of course, because this an afternoon workday, the doors of the 4M office are locked. I can almost make out, through the expensive stained glass windows, what appears to be several Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television employees, with champaign bottles in hand, dancing on expensive mahogany desks. Let's not disturb them. As they say in the cable business, an upset worker is a disconnected customer.
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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 pair of red goulashes with shiny buckles or a handcrafted bird feeder. Be on the lookout for telephone calls from long-lost relatives.
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Before 1933, the U.S. dime was legal as payment only in transactions of $10 or less.
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