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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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Ludwig von Mises's family's crest

The Austrian School, also known as “the Vienna School” and as “the Psychological School”, is a school of economic thought that advocates adherence to strict methodological individualism. As a result Austrians hold that the only valid economic theory is logically derived from basic principles of human action. Alongside the formal approach to theory, often called praxeology, the school has traditionally advocated an interpretive approach to history. The praxeological method allows for the discovery of economic laws valid for all human action, while the interpretive approach addresses specific historical events.

This Aristotelian/rationalist approach differs both from the currently dominant Platonic/positivist approach of contemporary neo-classical economics and the once dominant historical approach of the German historical school and the American institutionalists. While the praxeological method differs from the current method advocated by the majority of contemporary economists, the Austrian method is essentially identical with the traditional approach to economics used by the British classical economists, the early continental economists, and the Late Scholastics. The Austrian methodology is, therefore, a continuation of a long line of economic thought stretching from the 15th century to the modern era and including such major economists as Richard Cantillon, David Hume, A.R.J. Turgot, Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Nassau Senior, John Elliott Cairnes, and Claude Frédéric Bastiat.

The most famous Austrian adherents are Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Friedrich von Wieser, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Joseph Schumpeter, Gottfried von Haberler, Murray Rothbard, Israel Kirzner, George Reisman, Henry Hazlitt, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. While often controversial, and standing to some extent outside of the mainstream of neoclassical theory — as well as being staunchly opposed to much of Keynes' theory and its results — the Austrian School has been widely influential because of its emphasis on the creative phase (i.e. the time element) of economic productivity and its questioning of the basis of the behavioral theory underlying neoclassical economics.

Because many of the policy recommendations of Austrian theorists call for small government, strict protection of private property, and support for individualism in general, they are often cited by laissez-faire liberal, libertarian, and Objectivist groups for support, although Austrian School economists, like Ludwig von Mises, insist that praxeology must be value-free. They do not answer the question "should this policy be implemented?", but rather "if this policy is implemented, will it have the effects you intend?".

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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 chart displays the make up of Irish GDP
...The economy of the Republic of Ireland is modern, relatively small, and trade-dependent with growth averaging a robust 10% in 19952000 (a more modest growth of 4.9% in 2005 est.). Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry, which accounts for 46% of GDP, about 80% of exports, and employs 29% of the labour force. Although exports remain the primary engine for the Republic's robust growth, the economy is also benefiting from a rise in consumer spending and recovery in both construction and business investment. Inflation stands at 2.3% as of 2005, but this is only a recent recovery from rates of between 4% and 5%. House price inflation has been a particular economic concern (average house price was €255,776 in February 2005 [1]) as well as service charges (utilities, insurance, healthcare, legal representation, etc.). Dublin, the nation's capital, was ranked 22nd in a worldwide cost of living survey in 2004 [2] - a rise of two places on 2003. Ireland has been reported to be the Second richest country in the EU (if not Europe) next to Luxembourg.
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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 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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