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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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1959 CPA 2341.jpg

During the Khrushchev era, from 1956 through 1962, the Soviet Union attempted to implement major wage reforms intended to move Soviet industrial workers away from the mindset of overfulfilling quotas that had characterised the Soviet economy during the preceding Stalinist period and toward a more efficient financial incentive.

Throughout the Stalinist period, most Soviet workers had been paid for their work based on a piece-rate system. Thus their individual wages were directly tied to the amount of work they produced. This policy was intended to encourage workers to toil and therefore increase production as much as possible. The piece-rate system led to the growth of bureaucracy and contributed to significant inefficiencies in Soviet industry. In addition, factory managers frequently manipulated the personal production quotas given to workers to prevent workers' wages from falling too low.

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The drawing of the Euro symbol
Photo credit: Erina

This diagram illustrates how to draw a euro symbol, based on official documentation, and has been prepared specifically for Wikipedia and released to the public domain. ADF and BCDE intersect at D. BCDE, GH, and IJ are parallel. BCDE intersects centerline at C.

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"It is not labor, not capital, not land, that has created modern wealth or is creating it today. It is ideas that create wealth, and what is wanted is more ideas more uncovering of natural reservoirs, and less labor and capital and land per unit of production. Gold has very little intrinsic value, diamonds have none except to cut glass and stone. It is a thought, a sentiment, that gives value to gold and diamonds ; it was the invention of the incandescent lamp that doubled the value of platinum. Columbus with his idea of land to the west, Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, with their ideas of liberty, Jefferson with his idea of territorial expansion, Fulton with his idea of the steamboat, Stephenson with his creation of the locomotive and track; it was Howe, Morse, Edison, Westinghouse, Bell and Gray, Marconi; it was Lincoln, it was Rockefeller, Carnegie, J. J. Hill and Harriman with their ideas, it was Roosevelt with the Panama Canal, that have made the United States what it is. All these men used labor and capital to uncover and develop the hitherto unutilized resources of the universe.

The Dutch and the Huguenots settled in South Africa about the same time North America above the gulf was colonized. The United States grew on account of ideas; South Africa remained undeveloped because of paucity of ideas, paucity of energy. The blacks had to do the work. There was no use for steam engines.

Muscular effort can be stimulated by the lash intelligent supervision, intellectual production, never! One single idea may have greater value than all the labor of all the men, animals, and engines for a century. The age of muscular human effort and of the lash is passing away, and the old morality with it; the age of supervision, of co-operative stimulus, is in full advance; and with it comes a new morality, under which the Golden Rule can be extended from the relations between individuals to those between classes, nationalities, and races. The highest official cannot dictate to the youngest apprenticed worker. Both are creatures of the machine, but both in turn must serve it, for unless its every law and need is lived up to, it will refuse to work efficiently, often reuse to work at all. With these new duties and privileges of men toward each other old truths become fallacies and paradoxes become the basic truths of tomorrow.

To forward the new morality, to extend the dominion of man over uncarnate energy and its use, to substitute highly paid thinkers and supervisors for devitalized toilers, to help each individual, each corporation, each government to meet its part of the obligation, above all to inspire those executives on whose skill all progress and all wise performance depends, is the justification of these essays."

Harrington Emerson, The twelve principles of efficiency, 1924


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On this day in Business history...

September 15:

  • 1881 - Ettore Bugatti, the founder and proprietor of the automobile manufacturing company Automobiles E. Bugatti, was born on this day.

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