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Text 3. MONEY ECONOMY
Buying, Selling and Paying. Almost every society now has a money economy based on coins and paper notes of one kind or another. Money is used for buying or selling goods, for measuring value and for storing wealth. However, this has not always been true. In primitive societies, a system of barter direct exchange of goods was used. Somebody could exchange a sheep, for example, for anything in the marketplace that they considered to be of equal value. Most governments now issue paper money in the form of notes. Paper money is easier to handle and much more convenient in the modern world. Cheques, bankers' cards, and credit cards are being used increasingly, too.
Sometimes in a shop they ask you: "How do you want to pay?" You can answer: "Cash/ By cheque/ By credit card." In a bank you usually have a current account, which is one where you are paid your salary and then withdraw money to pay your everyday bills. The bank sends you a regular bank statement telling you how much money is in your account. You may also have a savings account where you deposit any extra money that you have and only take money out when you want to spend it on something special. Sometimes, the bank may lend you money — this is called a bank loan. If the bank lends you money to buy a house, that money is called a mortgage. When you buy (or, more formally, purchase) something in a shop, you usually pay for it outright but sometimes you buy on credit. Sometimes, you may be offered a discount or a reduction on something you buy at a shop. It is not usual to haggle about prices in a British shop, as it is in a Turkish market. If you want to return something which you have bought to a shop, you may be given a refund, i.e. your money will be returned, provided you have a receipt. The money that you pay for services, e.g. to a school or a lawyer, is usually called a fee or fees; the money paid for a journey is a fare. If you buy something that you feel was very good value, it's a bargain. Public Finance. The government collects money from citizens through taxes. Income tax is the tax collected on wages and salaries. Inheritance tax is collected on what people inherit from others. Customs duties have to be paid on goods imported from other countries. VAT, or value-added tax, is a tax paid on most foods and services when they are bought or purchased. Companies pay corporation tax on their profits. The government also sometimes pays out money to people in need. Recipients draw a pension/unemployment benefit or are on the dole or on social security.