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April 21, 2024 

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CARDINAL UTILITY: A measure of utility, or satisfaction derived from the consumption of goods and services, that can be measured using an absolute scale. Cardinal utility exists if the utility derived from consumption is measurable in the same way that other physical characteristics--height and weight--are measured using a scale that is comparable between people. There is little or no evidence to suggest that such measurement is possible and is not even needed for modern consumer demand theory and indifference curve analysis. Cardinal utility, however, is often employed as a convenient teaching device for discussing such concepts as marginal utility and utility maximization.

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EXCISE TAX: A tax on a specific good. This should be compared with a general sales tax, which is a tax on all (or nearly all) goods sold. The most common excise taxes are on alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline. Excise taxes are used either to discourage consumption of socially undesirable stuff (like alcohol and tobacco) or to raise some easy revenue because the government knows buyers will keep buying regardless of the tax (like alcohol and tobacco).

     See also | tax | sales tax | consumption tax | consumption | luxury tax |


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EMPLOYMENT RATE

The ratio of employed persons to the total civilian noninstitutionalized population 16 years old or older. Also termed the employment-population ratio, the employment rate is used as an alternative to the unemployment rate as an indicator of the utilization of labor resources.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time looking for a downtown retail store looking to buy either a coffee cup commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki or a rechargeable battery for your cell phone. Be on the lookout for infected paper cuts.
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