Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U. S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors, it has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction; the court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions. Each year it agrees to hear about one hundred to one hundred fifty of the more than seven thousand cases that it is asked to review.
According to federal statute, the court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, all of whom are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have lifetime tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed from office; each justice has a single vote in deciding. When the chief justice is in the majority, he decides. In modern discourse, justices are categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. While a far greater number of cases in recent history have been decided unanimously, decisions in cases of the highest profile have come down to just one single vote, exemplifying the justices' alignment according to these categories; the Court meets in the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D. C, its law enforcement arm is the Supreme Court of the United States Police. It was while debating the division of powers between the legislative and executive departments that delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention established the parameters for the national judiciary.
Creating a "third branch" of government was a novel idea. Early on, some delegates argued that national laws could be enforced by state courts, while others, including James Madison, advocated for a national judicial authority consisting of various tribunals chosen by the national legislature, it was proposed that the judiciary should have a role in checking the executive power to veto or revise laws. In the end, the Framers compromised by sketching only a general outline of the judiciary, vesting federal judicial power in "one supreme Court, in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish", they delineated neither the exact powers and prerogatives of the Supreme Court nor the organization of the Template:Judicial branch as a whole. The 1st United States Congress provided the detailed organization of a federal judiciary through the Judiciary Act of 1789; the Supreme Court, the country's highest judicial tribunal, was to sit in the nation's Capital and would be composed of a chief justice and five associate justices.
The act divided the country into judicial districts, which were in turn organized into circuits. Justices were required to "ride circuit" and hold circuit court twice a year in their assigned judicial district. After signing the act into law, President George Washington nominated the following people to serve on the court: John Jay for chief justice and John Rutledge, William Cushing, Robert H. Harrison, James Wilson, John Blair Jr. as associate justices. All six were confirmed by the Senate on September 26, 1789. Harrison, declined to serve. In his place, Washington nominated James Iredell; the Supreme Court held its inaugural session from February 2 through February 10, 1790, at the Royal Exchange in New York City the U. S. capital. A second session was held there in August 1790; the earliest sessions of the court were devoted to organizational proceedings, as the first cases did not reach it until 1791. When the national capital moved to Philadelphia in 1790, the Supreme Court did so as well.
After meeting at Independence Hall, the Court established its chambers at City Hall. Under Chief Justices Jay and Ellsworth, the Court heard few cases; as the Court had only six members, every decision that it made by a majority was made by two-thirds. However, Congress has always allowed less than the court's full membership to make decisions, starting with a quorum of four justices in 1789; the court lacked a home of its own and had little prestige, a situation not helped by the era's highest-profile case, Chisholm v. Georgia, reversed within two years by the adoption of the Eleventh Amendment; the court's power and prestige grew during the Marshall Court. Under Marshall, the court established the power of judicial review over acts of Congress, including specifying itself as the supreme expositor of the Constitution and making several important constitutional rulings that gave shape and substance to the balance of power between the federal government and states; the Marshall Court ended the practice of each justice issuin
In trade, barter is a system of exchange where participants in a transaction directly exchange goods or services for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. Economists distinguish barter from gift economies in many ways. Barter takes place on a bilateral basis, but may be multilateral. In most developed countries, barter only exists parallel to monetary systems to a limited extent. Market actors use barter as a replacement for money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, such as when currency becomes unstable or unavailable for conducting commerce. Economists since the times of Adam Smith, looking at non-specific pre-modern societies as examples, have used the inefficiency of barter to explain the emergence of money, of "the" economy, hence of the discipline of economics itself. However, ethnographic studies have shown that no present or past society has used barter without any other medium of exchange or measurement, nor have anthropologists found evidence that money emerged from barter, instead finding that gift-giving was the most usual means of exchange of goods and services.
Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, sought to demonstrate that markets pre-existed the state, hence should be free of government regulation. He argued. Markets emerged, in his view, out of the division of labour, by which individuals began to specialize in specific crafts and hence had to depend on others for subsistence goods; these goods were first exchanged by barter. Specialization depended on trade, but was hindered by the "double coincidence of wants" which barter requires, i.e. for the exchange to occur, each participant must want what the other has. To complete this hypothetical history, craftsmen would stockpile one particular good, be it salt or metal, that they thought no one would refuse; this is the origin of money according to Smith. Money, as a universally desired medium of exchange, allows each half of the transaction to be separated. Barter is characterized in Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" by a disparaging vocabulary: "higgling, swapping, dickering." It has been characterized as negative reciprocity, or "selfish profiteering."Anthropologists have argued, in contrast, "that when something resembling barter does occur in stateless societies it is always between strangers."
Barter occurred between strangers, not fellow villagers, hence cannot be used to naturalistically explain the origin of money without the state. Since most people engaged in trade knew each other, exchange was fostered through the extension of credit. Marcel Mauss, author of'The Gift', argued that the first economic contracts were to not act in one's economic self-interest, that before money, exchange was fostered through the processes of reciprocity and redistribution, not barter. Everyday exchange relations in such societies are characterized by generalized reciprocity, or a non-calculative familial "communism" where each takes according to their needs, gives as they have. Since direct barter does not require payment in money, it can be utilized when money is in short supply, when there is little information about the credit worthiness of trade partners, or when there is a lack of trust between those trading. Barter is an option to those who cannot afford to store their small supply of wealth in money in hyperinflation situations where money devalues quickly.
The limitations of barter are explained in terms of its inefficiencies in facilitating exchange in comparison to money. It is said that barter is'inefficient' because: There needs to be a'double coincidence of wants' For barter to occur between two parties, both parties need to have what the other wants. There is no common measure of value In a monetary economy, money plays the role of a measure of value of all goods, so their values can be assessed against each other. Indivisibility of certain goods If a person wants to buy a certain amount of another's goods, but only has for payment one indivisible unit of another good, worth more than what the person wants to obtain, a barter transaction cannot occur. Lack of standards for deferred payments This is related to the absence of a common measure of value, although if the debt is denominated in units of the good that will be used in payment, it is not a problem. Difficulty in storing wealth If a society relies on perishable goods, storing wealth for the future may be impractical.
However, some barter economies rely on durable goods like sheep or cattle for this purpose. Other anthropologists have questioned whether barter is between "total" strangers, a form of barter known as "silent trade". Silent trade called silent barter, dumb barter, or depot trade, is a method by which traders who cannot speak each other's language can trade without talking. However, Benjamin Orlove has shown that while barter occurs through "silent trade", it occurs in commercial markets as well. "Because barter is a difficult way of conducting trade, it will occur only where there are strong institutional constraints on the use of money or where the barter symbolically denotes a special social relationship and is used in well-defined conditions. To sum up, multipurpose money in markets is like lubrication for machines - necessary for the
A pension is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee's employment years, from which payments are drawn to support the person's retirement from work in the form of periodic payments. A pension may be a "defined benefit plan" where a fixed sum is paid to a person, or a "defined contribution plan" under which a fixed sum is invested and becomes available at retirement age. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the terms "retirement plan" and "superannuation" tend to refer to a pension granted upon retirement of the individual. Retirement plans may be set up by employers, insurance companies, the government or other institutions such as employer associations or trade unions. Called retirement plans in the United States, they are known as pension schemes in the United Kingdom and Ireland and superannuation plans in Australia and New Zealand. Retirement pensions are in the form of a guaranteed life annuity, thus insuring against the risk of longevity. A pension created by an employer for the benefit of an employee is referred to as an occupational or employer pension.
Labor unions, the government, or other organizations may fund pensions. Occupational pensions are a form of deferred compensation advantageous to employee and employer for tax reasons. Many pensions contain an additional insurance aspect, since they will pay benefits to survivors or disabled beneficiaries. Other vehicles may provide a similar stream of payments; the common use of the term pension is to describe the payments a person receives upon retirement under pre-determined legal or contractual terms. A recipient of a retirement pension is known as a retiree. A retirement plan is an arrangement to provide people with an income during retirement when they are no longer earning a steady income from employment. Retirement plans require both the employer and employee to contribute money to a fund during their employment in order to receive defined benefits upon retirement, it is a tax deferred savings vehicle that allows for the tax-free accumulation of a fund for use as a retirement income. Funding can be provided in other ways, such as from labor unions, government agencies, or self-funded schemes.
Pension plans are therefore a form of "deferred compensation". A SSAS is a type of employment-based Pension in the UK; some countries grant pensions to military veterans. Military pensions are overseen by the government. Ad hoc committees may be formed to investigate specific tasks, such as the U. S. Commission on Veterans' Pensions in 1955–56. Pensions may extend past the death of the veteran himself, continuing to be paid to the widow. Many countries have created funds for their citizens and residents to provide income when they retire; this requires payments throughout the citizen's working life in order to qualify for benefits on. A basic state pension is a "contribution based" benefit, depends on an individual's contribution history. For examples, see National Insurance in the UK, or Social Security in the United States of America. Many countries have put in place a "social pension"; these are tax-funded non-contributory cash transfers paid to older people. Over 80 countries have social pensions.
Some are universal benefits, given to all older people regardless of income, assets or employment record. Examples of universal pensions include New Zealand Superannuation and the Basic Retirement Pension of Mauritius. Most social pensions, are means-tested, such as Supplemental Security Income in the United States of America or the "older person's grant" in South Africa; some pension plans will provide for members in the event they suffer a disability. This may take the form of early entry into a retirement plan for a disabled member below the normal retirement age. Retirement plans may be classified as defined benefit or defined contribution according to how the benefits are determined. A defined benefit plan guarantees a certain payout at retirement, according to a fixed formula which depends on the member's salary and the number of years' membership in the plan. A defined contribution plan will provide a payout at retirement, dependent upon the amount of money contributed and the performance of the investment vehicles utilized.
Hence, with a defined contribution plan the risk and responsibility lies with the employee that the funding will be sufficient through retirement, whereas with the defined benefit plan the risk and responsibility lies with the employer or plan managers. Some types of retirement plans, such as cash balance plans, combine features of both defined benefit and defined contribution plans, they are referred to as hybrid plans. Such plan designs have become popular in the US since the 1990s. Examples include Cash Pension Equity plans. A traditional defined benefit plan is a plan in which the benefit on retirement is determined by a set formula, rather than depending on investment returns. Government pensions such as Social Security in the United States are a type of defined benefit pension plan. Traditionally, defined benefit plans for employers have been administered by institutions which exist for that purpose, by large businesses, or, for government workers, by the government itself. A traditional form
Income tax in the United States
Income taxes in the United States are imposed by the federal, most state, many local governments. The income taxes are determined by applying a tax rate, which may increase as income increases, to taxable income, the total income less allowable deductions. Income is broadly defined. Individuals and corporations are directly taxable, estates and trusts may be taxable on undistributed income. Partnerships are not taxed. Residents and citizens are taxed on worldwide income, while nonresidents are taxed only on income within the jurisdiction. Several types of credits reduce tax, some types of credits may exceed tax before credits. An alternative tax applies at the federal and some state levels. In the United States, the term "payroll tax" refers to FICA taxes that are paid to fund Social Security and Medicare, while "income tax" refers to taxes that are paid into state and federal general funds. Most business expenses are deductible. Individuals may deduct a personal allowance and certain personal expenses, including home mortgage interest, state taxes, contributions to charity, some other items.
Some deductions are subject to limits. Capital gains are taxable, capital losses reduce taxable income to the extent of gains. Individuals pay a lower rate of tax on capital gains and certain corporate dividends. Taxpayers must self assess income tax by filing tax returns. Advance payments of tax are required in the form of withholding tax or estimated tax payments. Taxes are determined separately by each jurisdiction imposing tax. Due dates and other administrative procedures vary by jurisdiction. April 15 following the tax year is the last day for individuals to file tax returns for federal and many state and local returns. Tax as determined by the taxpayer may be adjusted by the taxing jurisdiction. A tax is imposed on net taxable income in the United States by the federal, most state, some local governments. Income tax is imposed on individuals, corporations and trusts; the definition of net taxable income for most sub-federal jurisdictions follows the federal definition. The rate of tax at the federal level is graduated.
Some states and localities impose an income tax at a graduated rate, some at a flat rate on all taxable income. Federal tax rates in 2013 varied from 10% to 39.6%. Individuals are eligible for a reduced rate of federal income tax on capital gains and qualifying dividends; the tax rate and some deductions are different for individuals depending on filing status. Married individuals may compute tax as a couple or separately. Single individuals may be eligible for reduced tax rates if they are head of a household in which they live with a dependent. Taxable income is defined in a comprehensive manner in the Internal Revenue Code and tax regulations issued by the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. Taxable income is gross income as adjusted minus deductions. Most states and localities follow these definitions at least in part, though some make adjustments to determine income taxed in that jurisdiction. Taxable income for a company or business may not be the same as its book income.
Gross income includes all income received from whatever source. This includes salaries and wages, pensions, fees earned for services, price of goods sold, other business income, gains on sale of other property, rents received and dividends received, alimony received, proceeds from selling crops, many other types of income; some income, however, is exempt from income tax. This includes interest on municipal bonds. Adjustments to gross income of individuals are made for alimony paid, contributions to many types of retirement or health savings plans, certain student loan interest, half of self-employment tax, a few other items; the cost of goods sold in a business is a direct reduction of gross income. Business deductions: Taxable income of all taxpayers is reduced by deductions for expenses related to their business; these include salaries and other business expenses paid or accrued, as well as allowances for depreciation. The deduction of expenses may result in a loss; such loss can reduce other taxable income, subject to some limits.
Personal deductions: Individuals are allowed several nonbusiness deductions. A flat amount per person is allowed as a deduction for personal exemptions. For 2017 this amount is $4,050. Taxpayers are allowed one such deduction for themselves and one for each person they support. From 2018 the personal deduction is removed. Standard deduction: In addition, individuals get a deduction from taxable income for certain personal expenses. Alternatively, the individual may claim a standard deduction. For 2017, the standard deduction is $6,350 for single individuals, $12,700 for a married couple, $9,350 for a head of household; the standard deduction is higher for individuals over age 65. For 2018, the standard deduction is $12,000 for single individuals, $24,000 for a married couple, $18,000 for a head of household. Itemized deductions: Those who choose to claim actual itemized deductions may deduct the following, subject to many conditions and limitations: Medical expenses in excess of 10% of adjusted gross income, State and foreign taxes, Home mortgage interest, Contributions to charities, Losses on nonbusiness property due to casualty, Deductions for expenses incurred in the production of income in excess of 2% of adjusted gross income.
Capital gains: and qualified dividends may be ta
Interest is payment from a borrower or deposit-taking financial institution to a lender or depositor of an amount above repayment of the principal sum, at a particular rate. It is distinct from a fee which the borrower may pay some third party, it is distinct from dividend, paid by a company to its shareholders from its profit or reserve, but not at a particular rate decided beforehand, rather on a pro rata basis as a share in the reward gained by risk taking entrepreneurs when the revenue earned exceeds the total costs. For example, a customer would pay interest to borrow from a bank, so they pay the bank an amount, more than the amount they borrowed. In the case of savings, the customer is the lender, the bank plays the role of the borrower. Interest differs from profit, in that interest is received by a lender, whereas profit is received by the owner of an asset, investment or enterprise; the rate of interest is equal to the interest amount paid or received over a particular period divided by the principal sum borrowed or lent.
Compound interest means. Due to compounding, the total amount of debt grows exponentially, its mathematical study led to the discovery of the number e. In practice, interest is most calculated on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis, its impact is influenced by its compounding rate. According to historian Paul Johnson, the lending of "food money" was commonplace in Middle Eastern civilizations as early as 5000 BC; the argument that acquired seeds and animals could reproduce themselves was used to justify interest, but ancient Jewish religious prohibitions against usury represented a "different view". The first written evidence of compound interest dates 2400 BC; the annual interest rate was 20%. Compound interest was important for urbanization. While the traditional Middle Eastern views on interest was the result of the urbanized, economically developed character of the societies that produced them, the new Jewish prohibition on interest showed a pastoral, tribal influence. In the early 2nd millennium BC, since silver used in exchange for livestock or grain could not multiply of its own, the Laws of Eshnunna instituted a legal interest rate on deposits of dowry.
Early Muslims called this riba, translated today as the charging of interest. The First Council of Nicaea, in 325, forbade clergy from engaging in usury, defined as lending on interest above 1 percent per month. Ninth century ecumenical councils applied this regulation to the laity. Catholic Church opposition to interest hardened in the era of scholastics, when defending it was considered a heresy. St. Thomas Aquinas, the leading theologian of the Catholic Church, argued that the charging of interest is wrong because it amounts to "double charging", charging for both the thing and the use of the thing. In the medieval economy, loans were a consequence of necessity and, under those conditions, it was considered morally reproachable to charge interest, it was considered morally dubious, since no goods were produced through the lending of money, thus it should not be compensated, unlike other activities with direct physical output such as blacksmithing or farming. For the same reason, interest has been looked down upon in Islamic civilization, with all scholars agreeing that the Qur'an explicitly forbids charging interest.
Medieval jurists developed several financial instruments to encourage responsible lending and circumvent prohibitions on usury, such as the Contractum trinius. In the Renaissance era, greater mobility of people facilitated an increase in commerce and the appearance of appropriate conditions for entrepreneurs to start new, lucrative businesses. Given that borrowed money was no longer for consumption but for production as well, interest was no longer viewed in the same manner; the first attempt to control interest rates through manipulation of the money supply was made by the Banque de France in 1847. The latter half of the 20th century saw the rise of interest-free Islamic banking and finance, a movement that applies Islamic law to financial institutions and the economy; some countries, including Iran and Pakistan, have taken steps to eradicate interest from their financial systems. Rather than charging interest, the interest-free lender shares the risk by investing as a partner in profit loss sharing scheme, because predetermined loan repayment as interest is prohibited, as well as making money out of money is unacceptable.
All financial transactions must be asset-backed and it does not charge any interest or fee for the service of lending. In economics, the rate of interest is the price of credit, it plays the role of the cost of capital. In a free market economy, interest rates are subject to the law of supply and demand of the money supply, one explanation of the tendency of interest rates to be greater than zero is the scarcity of loanable funds. Over centuries, various schools of thought have developed explanations of interest and interest rates; the School of Salamanca justified paying interest in terms of the benefit to the borrower, interest received by the lender in terms of a premium for the risk of default. In the sixteenth century, Martín de Azpilcueta applied a time preference argument: it is p
In business, overhead or overhead expense refers to an ongoing expense of operating a business. Overheads are the expenditure which cannot be conveniently traced to or identified with any particular cost unit, unlike operating expenses such as raw material and labor. Therefore, overheads cannot be associated with the products or services being offered, thus do not directly generate profits. However, overheads are still vital to business operations as they provide critical support for the business to carry out profit making activities. For example, overhead costs such as the rent for a factory allows workers to manufacture products which can be sold for a profit; such expenses are incurred for output and not for particular work order. Overheads are very important cost element along with direct materials and direct labor. Overheads are related to accounting concepts such as fixed costs and indirect costs. Overhead expenses are all costs on the income statement except for direct labor, direct materials, direct expenses.
Overhead expenses include accounting fees, insurance, legal fees, labor burden, repairs, taxes, telephone bills, travel expenditures, utilities. There are two types of business overheads: administrative overheads and manufacturing overheads. Administrative overheads include items such as utilities, strategic planning, various supporting functions; these costs are treated as overheads due to the fact that they aren't directly related to any particular function of the organization nor does it directly result in generating any profits. Instead, these costs take on the role of supporting all of the business' other functions. Universities charge administrative overhead rates on research. In the U. S. the average overhead rate is 52%, spent on building operation, administrative salaries and other areas not directly tied to research. Academics have argued against these charges. For example, Benjamin Ginsberg showed how overhead rates are used to subsidize ballooning administrative salaries and building depreciation, neither of which directly benefit research.
An article written by Joshua Pearce in Science argued that overhead accounting practices hurt science by removing funds from research and discouraging the use of less-expensive open source hardware. He went into detail on the accounting showing how millions were wasted each year on overhead cash grabs by university administrators in ZME Science; this includes monthly and annual salaries that are agreed upon. They are considered overheads as these costs must be paid regardless of sales and profits of the company. In addition, salary differs from wage as salary is not affected by working hours and time, therefore will remain constant. In particular, this would more apply to more senior staff members as they are signed to longer tenure contracts, meaning that their salaries are more predetermined; this includes office equipment such as printer, fax machine, refrigerator, etc. They are equipment that do not directly result in sales and profits as they are only used for supporting functions that they can provide to business operations.
However, equipment can vary between administrative overheads and manufacturing overheads based on the purpose of which they are using the equipment. For example, for a printing company a printer would be considered a manufacturing overhead; this includes the cost of hiring external audit firms on behalf of the company. This would not apply if company has own audit plans. Due to regulations and necessary annual audits to ensure a satisfactory work place environment, these costs cannot be avoided. Since these costs do not contribute directly to sales, they are considered as indirect overheads. Although in most cases necessary, these costs can sometimes be reduced. Many companies provide usage of company cars as a perk for their employees. Since these cars do not contribute directly to sales and profits, they are considered an overhead. Similar company perks that are a one-off or constant payment such as partner contract fees with a gym will fall under administrative overheads; this will include company-paid business arrangements.
As well as refreshments and entertainment fees during company gatherings. Although one might argue that these costs motivate workers to become more productive and efficient, the majority of economists agree that these costs do not directly contribute to sales and profits, therefore shall be categorized as an administrative overhead. Despite these costs occurring periodically and sometimes without prior preparation, they are one-off payments and are expected to be within the company's budget for travel and entertainment. Manufacturing overheads are all costs endured by a business, within the physical platform in which the product or service is created. Difference between manufacturing overheads and administrative overheads is that manufacturing overheads are categorized within a factory or office in which the sale takes place. Whilst administrative overheads is categorized within some sort of back-office or supporting office. Although there are cases when the two physical buildings may overlap, it is the usage of the overheads that separates them.
Although the general concept is identical to the example under administrative overheads, the key difference is the role of the employee. In the case of manufacturing overheads, employees would have roles such as maintenance personnel, manufacturing m