Portal:Business

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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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Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Eugene "Joe" Stiglitz (born February 9, 1943) is an American economist and a member of the Columbia University faculty. He is a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal (1979) and the The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (2001). Former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank, he is known for his critical view of globalization, free-market economists (whom he calls "free market fundamentalists") and some international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. In 2000 Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. Since 2001 he has been a member of the Columbia faculty, and has held the rank of University Professor since 2003. He also chairs the University of Manchester's Brooks World Poverty Institute and is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Stiglitz is among the ten most cited economists in the world, as of 2008.


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A supermarket in North America.
Photo credit: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine

A supermarket, a large form of the traditional grocery store, is a self-service shop offering a wide variety of food and household products, organized into aisles. It is larger in size and has a wider selection than a traditional grocery store, but is smaller and more limited in the range of merchandise than a hypermarket or big-box market.

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"WHEN CONFRONTED WITH a problem, have you ever stopped and asked why five times? It is difficult to do even though it sounds easy. For example, suppose a machine stopped functioning:

1.Why did the machine stop? There was an overload and the fuse blew.

2.Why was there an overload? The bearing was not sufficiently lubricated.

3.Why was it not lubricated sufficiently? The lubrication pump was not pumping sufficiently.

4.Why was it not pumping sufficiently? The shaft of the pump was worn and rattling.

5.Why was the shaft worn out? There was no strainer attached and metal scrap got in.

Repeating why five times, like this, can help uncover the root problem and correct it. If this procedure were not carried through, one might simply replace the fuse or the pump shaft. In that case, the problem would recur within a few months.

To tell the truth, the Toyota production system has been built on the practice and evolution of this scientific approach. By asking why five times and answering it each time, we can get to the real cause of the problem, which is often hidden behind more obvious symptoms."

Taiichi Ohno, Toyota Production System, English edition of 1988

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August 12:

Did you know

  • ...that the melting and export of cents and nickels can be punished with a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisoned for a maximum of five years?
  • ... that the GDP deflator (implicit price deflator for GDP) is a price index measuring changes in prices of all new, domestically produced, final goods and services in an economy.

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