Academic discipline that explores the relationship between individuals and society and between markets and the state, using methods drawn from economics, political science, and sociology. The term is derived from the Greek terms polis (city or state) and oikonomos (one who manages a household). Political economy is thus concerned with how countries are managed, taking into account both political and economic factors. The field today encompasses several areas of inquiry, including the politics of economic relations, domestic political and economic issues, the comparative study of political and economic systems, and the study of international political economy.
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Economic system in which the means of production are publicly owned and economic activity is controlled by a central authority. Central planners determine the assortment of goods to be produced, allocate raw materials, fix quotas for each enterprise, and set prices. Most communist countries have had command economies; capitalist countries may also adopt such a system during national emergencies (e.g., wartime) in order to mobilize resources quickly. Seealso capitalism; communism.
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Economic system in which most of the means of production are privately owned, and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets. Capitalism has been dominant in the Western world since the end of mercantilism. It was fostered by the Reformation, which sanctioned hard work and frugality, and by the rise of industry during the Industrial Revolution, especially the English textile industry (16th–18th centuries). Unlike earlier systems, capitalism used the excess of production over consumption to enlarge productive capacity rather than investing it in economically unproductive enterprises such as palaces or cathedrals. The strong national states of the mercantilist era provided the social conditions, such as uniform monetary systems and legal codes, necessary for the rise of capitalism. The ideology of classical capitalism was expressed in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776), and Smith's free-market theories were widely adopted in the 19th century. In the 20th century the Great Depression effectively ended laissez-faire economics in most countries, but the demise of the state-run command economies of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (see communism) and the adoption of some free-market principles in China left capitalism unrivaled (if not untroubled) by the beginning of the 21st century.
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There were 74 households out of which 40.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.5% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.3% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the town the population was spread out with 29.5% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $37,083, and the median income for a family was $42,917. Males had a median income of $36,042 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,609. About 13.1% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.5% of those under the age of eighteen and 22.2% of those sixty five or over.