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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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The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money was written by the British economist John Maynard Keynes.

Although The General Theory was written in the aftermath of the Great Depression and was taken by many to justify the assumption by government of the responsibility for the achievement and maintenance of full employment, it is for the most part a highly abstract work of theory and by no means a tract on policy. Its full meaning and significance continues to be debated even today. As a book, it is a difficult read for a modern student of economics, although it is enlivened by some brilliant rhetorical passages, including the description of the stock market in Chapter 12 and the concluding chapter 24 on the (rather tentative) policy implications Keynes derived from his theory.

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Main Market Square, Kraków, Poland.
Photo credit: Genghiskhanviet

The market square (or sometimes, the market place) is a feature of many European and colonial towns. It is an open area where market stalls are traditionally set out for trading, commonly on one particular day of the week known as market day.

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"In a plant where required numbers actually dictate production, I like to point out that the slower but consistent tortoise causes less waste and is much more desirable than the speedy hare who races ahead and then stops occasionally to doze. The Toyota production system can be realized only when all the workers become tortoises.

High-performance machines were in demand for a long time before the term "high performance" was thoroughly examined. When we say high performance, we may mean high-precision finishing, low energy consumption, or even high-precision finishing, low energy consumption, or even trouble-free machines. Each can be correct. However, a frequent mistake is to regard high-productivity and high-speed machines as being the same.

If we can raise the speed without lowering the operable rate or shortening the life of the equipment, if a higher speed will not change the manpower requirements or produce more products than we can sell - then we can say high speed means high productivity.

Speed is meaningless without continuity. Just remember the tortoise and the hare. Moreover, we cannot fail to notice that machines not designed for endurance at high speeds will have shortened lifespans if we speed them up."

Taiichi Ohno, Toyota Production System, English edition of 1988


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On this day in Business history...

November 16:

  • 1929 - Peter Boizot, an entrepreneur, restaurateur, politician, art collector and philanthropist, the founder of PizzaExpress, died on this day.

Did you know

photo of a large brown snail with white markings on its shell
  • ... that at the time of her completion in 1918, American cargo ship West Lianga held the distinction of being both the fastest-launched and the fastest-constructed ocean-going ship in the world?


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