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SOCIAL SECURITY TAX: A tax on wage earnings that's used to fund the Social Security system. In principle, the Social Security tax is divided equally between employer and employee--your share is listed under the FICA heading of your paycheck. In practice, however, employees really end up paying both employee and employer contributes. The reason is that employers need to consider the entire cost of hiring an employee, including wages, fringe benefits, and assorted taxes. The more they pay in these nonwage items, like Social Security taxes, the less they pay in wages. In that the Social security tax is only on earnings, and excludes profit, interest, and rent, it tends to be a regressive tax.

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RETURNS TO SCALE

Changes in production the occur when all resources are proportionately changed in the long run. Returns to scale come in three forms--increasing, decreasing, or constant based on whether the changes in production are proportionally more than, less than, or equal to the proportional changes in inputs. Returns to scale are the guiding principle for long-run production, playing a similar role that the law of diminishing marginal returns plays for short-run production.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time searching for a specialty store seeking to buy either a wall poster commemorating last Friday (you know why) or a country wreathe. Be on the lookout for malfunctioning pocket calculators.
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