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June 26, 2022 

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BUSINESS CYCLE INDICATORS: Assorted economic statistics that provide valuable information about the expansions and contractions of business cycles. These statistics are grouped into three sets--lagging, coincident, and leading. Leading economic indicators tend to move up or down a few months BEFORE business-cycle expansions and contractions. Coincident economic indicators tend to reach their peaks and troughs AT THE SAME TIME as business cycles. Lagging economic indicators tend to rise or fall a few months AFTER business-cycle expansions and contractions.

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WELFARE: An assortment of programs that provide assistance to the poor. The cornerstone of our welfare system is Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), which was created by the Social Security Act (1935). It provides cash benefits to assist needy families with children under the age of 18. Funding comes partly from the federal government and partly from states. Because states also administer their own programs, benefits and qualification criteria differ from state to state. A second part of the welfare system, one that's run entirely by the federal government, is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program provides cash benefits to elderly, blind, and disabled in addition to any benefits received through the Social Security system. Our welfare system includes a whole bunch of additional benefits, including Medicaid, food stamps, low-cost housing, school lunches, job training, day care, and earned-income tax credits.

     See also | poverty | Social Security | transfer payment |


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VOTING PROBLEMS

Voting is a key source of government inefficiency because it can fail to provided leaders with a valid indication of society's preferences. Part of the inefficiency rests with utility-maximizing decisions of the voters, who choose rational ignorance (not to be informed) and rational abstention (not to participate), both of which lead to voter apathy and influential special interest groups. Part of the inefficiency rests with the voting process, which results in importance of the median voter, inconsistency of the voting paradox, and logrolling (vote-trading ) among voters.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time calling an endless list of 800 numbers hoping to buy either a hepa filter for your furnace or a wall poster commemorating next Thursday. Be on the lookout for crowded shopping malls.
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General Electric is the only stock from the original 1896 Dow Jones Industrial Average remaining in the current index.
"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. "

-- Maya Angelou, poet

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