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LABOR AGREEMENT: A formal, official, legal contract between a firm and the labor union representing the firm's employees. Such an agreement stipulates the various aspects of employment, including wages, fringe benefits, vacations, layoffs, promotions, and grievance procedures. The terms of the agreement are generally negotiated through the collective bargaining process. Should the collective bargaining process breakdown, the terms of the labor agreement might be helped along through a third-party mediator. If this doesn't help, then the labor union might call a strike or the firm might impose a lockout. Once in effect, any questions about the terms of the agreement are often subject to arbitration.

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Fact 5: Our Necessary Evil

It's time to give up our attempts to enter the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television Company, Inc. office and take care of other pressing business -- taxes. The next stop on our excursion through the economy is the Shady Valley City Hall, where we need to momentarily, and begrudgingly, pause so that I may pay my semi-annual property tax bill. This is the least enjoyable stop -- at least for me -- on our journey. Grumble. Grumble. Grumble.

Of course I hate to pay taxes! But, then again, who doesn't? Taxes are one of those annoying and evil necessities of life that simply can't be avoided.

Or can they? Do we have to pay taxes? A quick visit to a bookstore will produce dozens of books telling you how to avoid taxes by investing here or buying this or doing that. Better yet, if we could rid ourselves of the inefficient, bloated, incompetent, do-nothing government, then you and I wouldn't have to pay taxes. Right? We could use our hard-earned income to buy stuff that we want, rather than letting the inefficient, bloated, incompetent, do-nothing government spend it on stuff that we don't want, don't know anything about, and will never need. Right?
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time going from convenience store to convenience store looking to buy either a how-to book on home repairs or a large, stuffed kitty cat. Be on the lookout for gnomes hiding in cypress trees.
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John Maynard Keynes was born the same year Karl Marx died.
"I do the best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep doing so until the end. "

-- Abraham Lincoln, 16th US president

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