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AGGREGATION: The process of adding up, summing, or otherwise identifying the total value of a variable or measure, especially when used in the study of macroeconomics. Common items that are aggregated are demand, supply, and expenditures on gross domestic product, which result in aggregate demand, aggregate supply, and aggregate expenditures.

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PUBLIC UTILITY: The common term for a firm that provides and important (what some deem as essential) good or service primarily in and urban area and often through the use of an extensive distribution network. Common examples of public utilities are those that produce, provide, and/or distribute electricity, natural gas, local telephone services, cable television services, water, garbage collection, and sewage processing. A key feature is that capital requirements mean that public utilities tend to be natural monopolies. One firm can generally provide the services at a lower average cost that two or more firms. For this reason, public utilities tend to be either government owned and operated or heavily regulated by government.

     See also | natural monopoly | monopoly | average-cost pricing | marginal-cost pricing | regulation |


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FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

The central banking authority of the United States that is charged with conducting monetary policy and regulating the commercial banking system. It includes a Board of Governors, 12 District Banks, 25 Branch Banks, and assorted committees. The most important of these committees is the Federal Open Market Committee, which directs monetary policy. The Fed (as many like to call it) was established in 1913 and modified significantly during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Its duties are to maintain the stability of the banking system, regulate banks, and oversee the nation's money supply. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve System is one of the most important and powerful positions in the economy.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time watching the shopping channel trying to buy either a coffee cup commemorating the moon landing or a how-to book on surfing the Internet. Be on the lookout for malfunctioning pocket calculators.
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Only 1% of the U.S. population paid income taxes when the income tax was established in 1914.
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