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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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In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is "out of control," a condition in which prices increase rapidly as a currency loses its value. No precise definition of hyperinflation is universally accepted. One simple definition requires a monthly inflation rate of 20 or 30% or more. In informal usage the term is often applied to much lower rates.

The definition used by most economists is "an inflationary cycle without any tendency toward equilibrium." A vicious circle is created in which more and more inflation is created with each iteration of the cycle. Although there is a great deal of debate about the root causes of hyperinflation, it becomes visible when there is an unchecked increase in the money supply or drastic debasement of coinage, and is often associated with wars (or their aftermath), economic depressions, and political or social upheavals.

The main cause of hyperinflation is a massive imbalance between the supply and demand of a certain currency or type of money, usually due to a complete loss of confidence in the currency similar to a bank run. First, the enactment of legal tender laws prevent discounting the value of paper money vis-a vis gold, silver or a hard currency, by forcing acceptance of a paper money which lacks intrinsic value. If the entity responsible for printing a currency then promotes excessive money printing, with other factors contributing a reinforcing effect, hyperinflation usually occurs. Often the body responsible for printing the currency cannot physically print paper currency faster than the rate at which it is devaluing, thus neutralising their attempts to stimulate the economy.

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An 1874 newspaper illustration from Harper's Weekly, showing a man engaging in barter: offering chickens in exchange for his yearly newspaper subscription.

Barter is a system of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. It is distinguishable from gift economies in many ways; one of them is that the reciprocal exchange is immediate and not delayed in time. It is usually bilateral, but may be multilateral (i.e., mediated through barter organizations) and usually exists parallel to monetary systems in most developed countries, though to a very limited extent. Barter usually replaces money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, such as when the currency may be either unstable (e.g., hyperinflation or deflationary spiral) or simply unavailable for conducting commerce.

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...The Economy of Hong Kong is widely believed to be the most economically free in the world. It has often been cited by economists such as Milton Friedman and the Cato Institute as an example of the benefits of laissez-faire capitalism. While the government, both under British and PRC rule, has occasionally intervened in the economy, the free market policy of Positive non-interventionism espoused by former financial secretary John James Cowperthwaite still largely drives economic policy today. It has ranked as the world's freest economy in the Index of Economic Freedom for 13 consecutive years, since the inception of the index in 1995. It also places first in the Economic Freedom of the World Report.

No official GDP was measured by the government until 1971. Any GDP formed prior to this period was based on international trade statistics that came after 1971. This is a chart of trend of real gross domestic product of Hong Kong at constant market prices by the International Monetary Fund with figures in millions of Hong Kong Dollars. In 2006, Hong Kong's GDP ranked as the 40th highest in the world at US$253.1 billion. Its per-capita GDP ranked as the 15th highest at US$36,500, notably ahead of countries such as Canada, Japan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, and still well ahead of the People's Republic of China. The very center of Hong Kong's economic freedom comes from the government's hands-off policy. This model was developed in Hong Kong and Taiwan as a response to analyzing the cultural revolution affect in China. The Maoist era forecasted the production of steel, and the inability to produce led to the immediate collapse of the economy. Hong Kong's model allowed for the flexibility and renovation of any given industry in a very short time. Because of this, a 1994 World Bank report stated that Hong Kong's GDP per capita grew in real terms at an annual rate of 6.5% from 1965 to 1989. This consistent growth percentage over a span of almost 25 years is remarkable for any economic analysis. By 1990 Hong Kong's per capita income officially surpassed that of the ruling United Kingdom.

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"You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then, diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little more entertainment now and then can be no great matter but remember what Poor Richard says "Many a little makes a mickle; beware of little expense for a small leak will sink a great ship"."

Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1732-1758


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  • ...that dismal science is a derogatory alternative name for economics coined by the Victorian historian Thomas Carlyle in the 19th century to draw a contrast with the then-familiar use of the phrase "gay science"?


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