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November 27, 2022 

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VOLUNTARY EXCHANGE: The process of willingly trading one item for another. The emphasis here is on "willingly." Voluntary exchanges are the heart and soul of market transactions, and should be contrasted with the "involuntary" exchanges mandated by government taxes, laws, and regulations. While involuntary government-forced exchanges play an important role in a mixed economy, economists really, really like voluntary market exchanges because they promote economic efficiency.

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RATE OF RETURN: The ratio of the additional annual income or profit generated by an investment to the cost of the investment. Here's a simple example, although the calculations are usually a great deal more involved for actual investments. If the cost of constructing a new factory is $10 million and it gives you an extra $1 million in profit each year, then its rate of return is 10 percent.

     See also | interest rate | investment | financial markets | income | profit | uncertainty | capital | human capital | education | infrastructure | yield |


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LAISSEZ FAIRE

The notion that government should not intervene into production, consumption, and exchange activities and that the private sector (households and businesses) should be free to make allocation decisions. Laissez faire is a French term that roughly translates into "allow to act." It has been the rallying cry for many people (primarily business leaders) who oppose government intervention, regulation, or even taxation since it was popularized in the late 1700s by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through the yellow pages hoping to buy either a desktop calendar with all federal and state holidays highlighted or a half-dozen helium filled balloons. Be on the lookout for slow moving vehicles with darkened windows.
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Paper money used by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prior to the U.S. Revolutionary War, which was issued against the dictates of Britain, was designed by patriot and silversmith, Paul Revere.
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