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Portal:Business

Introduction

Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services).[need quotation to verify] Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit. It does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or have any such formal organization, but it can range from a street peddler to General Motors."

Having a business name does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for debts incurred by the business. If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner's personal possessions. A business structure does not allow for corporate tax rates. The proprietor is personally taxed on all income from the business.

The term is also often used colloquially (but not by lawyers or by public officials) to refer to a company. A company, on the other hand, is a separate legal entity and provides for limited liability, as well as corporate tax rates. A company structure is more complicated and expensive to set up, but offers more protection and benefits for the owner.

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An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist Adam Smith, published on March 9, 1776 during the Scottish Enlightenment. It is a clearly written account of political economy at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and is widely considered to be the first modern work in the field of economics. The work is also the first comprehensive defense of free market policies. It is broken down into five books between two volumes. The Wealth of Nations was written for the average educated individual of the 18th century rather than for specialists and mathematicians. There are three main concepts that Smith expands upon in this work that form the foundation of free market economics: The Division of Labor, The Pursuit of Self Interest, and The Freedom of Trade.

The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, during the Age of Enlightenment. It influenced not only authors and economists, but governments and organisations. For example, Alexander Hamilton was influenced in part by The Wealth of Nations to write his Report on Manufactures, in which he argued against many of Smith's policies. Interestingly, Hamilton based much of this report on the ideas of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and it was, in part, to Colbert's ideas that Smith wished to respond with The Wealth of Nations. Many other authors were influenced by the book and used it as a starting point in their own work, including Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus and, later, Karl Marx and Ludwig von Mises. The Russian national poet Aleksandr Pushkin refers to The Wealth of Nations in his 1833 verse-novel Eugene Onegin.

Irrespective of historical influence, however, The Wealth of Nations represented a clear leap forward in the field of economics, similar to Sir Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica for physics or Antoine Lavoisier's Traité Élémentaire de Chimie for chemistry. The Wealth of Nations is also important in a Scottish linguistic context on account of the fact the book is written in English and not in Scots Language, a somewhat rare occurrence for the time.

Smith addresses in The Wealth of Nations a problem that was torturing the best economic minds of his day. This problem was rooted in the means by which objects are valued. The two predominant theories of value in Smith's time were the so-called "Practical Theory of Value" and the labor theory of value, as delineated later by David Ricardo.

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Village fair by Flemish artist Gillis Mostaert,1590

A fair (archaic: faire or fayre) is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy associated traveling carnival or travelling funfair entertainment. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary; some last only an afternoon while others may last as long as ten weeks. Activities at fairs vary widely. Some trade fairs are important regular business events either where products are traded between businesspeople, as at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where publishers sell book rights in other markets to other publishers, or where products are showcased to consumers, as for example in agricultural districts where they present opportunities to display and demonstrate the latest machinery on the market to farmers.

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It can readily be seen that such a plan of management as this will bring out co-operation as would no other plan; and it should be stated here emphatically that there is nothing that can permanently bring about results from scientific management, and the economies that it is possible to effect by it, unless the organization is supported by the hearty co-operation of the men. Without this there is no scientific management.

Moreover, since the conditions which bring about the cooperation are measured and standardized, the result is stable. Co-operation without standardization is a most unstable thing, likely to disappear at any moment with a change of the individuals supposed to co-operate.

Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr., Units, Methods, and Devices of Measurement Under Scientific Management, 1913

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  • ...the term petrodollars was coined by Ibrahim Oweiss to describe dollars that did not circulate inside the United States, and therefore were not part of the normal money supply, and instead were received by petroleum exporting countries (OPEC) in exchange for oil?

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