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VARIABLE FACTOR OF PRODUCTION: An input whose quantity can be changed in the time period under consideration. This usually goes by the shorter term fixed input and should be immediately compared and contrasted with fixed factor of production, which goes by the shorter term fixed input. The most common example of a variable factor of production is labor. A variable factor of production provides the extra inputs that a firm needs to expand short-run production. In contrast, a fixed factor of production, like capital, provides the capacity constraint in production. As larger quantities of a variable factor of production, like labor, are added to a fixed factor of production like capital, the variable factor of production becomes less productive.

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BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

A comprehensive set of accounts that tracks the flow of currency and other monetary assets coming in to and going out of a nation. These payments are used for international trade, foreign investments, and other financial activities. The balance of payments is divided into two accounts -- current account (which includes payments for imports, exports, services, and transfers) and capital account (which includes payments for physical and financial assets). A deficit in one account is matched by a surplus in the other account. The balance of trade is only one part of the overall balance of payments set of accounts.

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Creating WEALTH

Wealth -- what is it and how do you get it? Perhaps one of those home business franchises that sell cleaning products, housewares, or perfume can be your source of financial independence. And, as evidenced by those late-night infomercials, the always lucrative area of real estate investment is almost certain to turn you into a gadzillionaire by next Thursday. Or perhaps tinkering in the financial markets with penny stocks, gold futures, or silver options is more your cup of tea. (My personal favorite is the Darling Donna's Chimney Sweep outfit that gives you the opportunity for a meaningful career in the high-profile field of chimney maintenance products.) The question for today is: Are any of these get-rich-quick schemes better than buying a lottery ticket?
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PINK FADFLY
[What's This?]

Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through mail order catalogs hoping to buy either a flower arrangement for that special day for your mother or a New York Yankees baseball cap. Be on the lookout for letters from the Internal Revenue Service.
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This isn't me! What am I?

Much of the $15 million used by the United States to finance the Louisiana Purchase from France was borrowed from European banks.
"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining."

-- John F. Kennedy, 35th U. S. president

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