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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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NATIONAL INCOME AND GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: National income (NI) is the total income earned by the citizens of the national economy resulting from their ownership of resources used in the production of final goods and services during a given period of time, usually one year. Gross domestic product (GDP) is the total market value of all final goods and services produced within the political boundaries of an economy during a given period of time, usually a year. Although national income is generated by the production of gross domestic product, the value of production does not entirely result in earned income. In other words, national income can be derived from gross domestic product after a few adjustments.

     See also | national income and net domestic product | capital consumption adjustment | indirect business taxes | net foreign factor income | business transfer payments | statistical discrepancy | government subsidies less current surplus of government enterprises |


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ASSUMPTIONS, CLASSICAL ECONOMICS

Classical economics, especially as directed toward macroeconomics, relies on three key assumptions--flexible prices, Say's law, and saving-investment equality. Flexible prices ensure that markets adjust to equilibrium and eliminate shortages and surpluses. Say's law states that supply creates its own demand and means that enough income is generated by production to purchase the resulting production. The saving-investment equality ensures that any income leaked from consumption into saving is replaced by an equal amount of investment. Although of questionable realism, these three assumptions imply that the economy would operate at full employment.

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