Automatic stabilizer (自动稳定器)

Automatic stabilizer (自动稳定器 zì dòng wěn dìng qì) is a type of fiscal policies used to offset slumps or overheat (primarily the former) in a nation’s economic activity without direct governmental intervention. The goal of it is to stabilize the economy, i.e. prevent drastic growth and inflation, or counter an economic shock. Common examples include income tax, unemployment insurance, and welfare.

Part 1: Breakdown of Words

自动” (zì dòng) means “automatic”, as in “automatic system” (自动系统 zì dòng xì tǒng), “automatization” (自动化 zì dòng huà), or “automata” (自动机 zì dòng jī). 

稳定器” (wěn dìng qì) means “stabilizer”, as in “voltage stabilizer” (电压稳定器 diànyā wěndìng qì). Here, a stabilizer refers to a physical device, while it means an abstraction in the economic term “automatic stabilizer” (自动稳定器 zìdòng wěndìng qì). 

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