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June 17, 2021 

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FIRM OBJECTIVES: The standard economic assumption underlying the analysis of firms is profit maximization. Firms are assumed to make decisions that will increase profit. Generally speaking, profit maximization is the process of obtaining the highest possible level of economic profit through the production and sales of goods and services. For a more thorough discussion of this topic, see the profit maximization entry. Real world firms might pursue other objectives including: (1) sales maximization, (2) pursuit of personal welfare, and (3) pursuit of social welfare. In some cases, these other objectives help a firm pursue profit maximization. In other cases, they prevent a firm from maximizing profit.

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BALANCED-BUDGET AMENDMENT: A proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would constrain total government spending to be less than or equal to total tax collections. Such an amendment would effectively eliminate the federal deficit, which results when the spending exceeds taxes. The logic behind such an amendment is to prevent discretionary use of fiscal policy, which is often blamed for political business cycles and the resulting problems of inflation and unemployment. It is also touted as a way to limit the size of the Federal government.

     See also | government | budget deficit | budget surplus | government purchases | taxes | transfer payments | fiscal policy | political business cycle | conservative | money supply rule | automatic stabilizers | inflation | unemployment |


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ABILITY-TO-PAY PRINCIPLE

A taxation principle stating that taxes should be based on the ability to pay taxes. The ability-to-pay principle works from the proposition that those who have the greatest income should pay the most taxes. The ability-to-pay principle is the only reasonable way to finance the provision of public goods such as national defense, public health, and environmental quality. This is one of two taxation principles. The other is the benefit principle, which states taxes should be based on the benefits received.

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