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January 18, 2018 

AmosWEB means Economics with a Touch of Whimsy!

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SCARCITY: A pervasive condition of human existence that exists because society has unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources used for their satisfaction. In other words, while we all want a bunch of stuff, we can't have everything that we want. In slightly different words, this scarcity problem means: (1) that there's never enough resources to produce everything that everyone would like produced; (2) that some people will have to do without some of the stuff that they want or need; (3) that doing one thing, producing one good, performing one activity, forces society to give up something else; and (4) that the same resources can not be used to produce two different goods at the same time. We live in a big, bad world of scarcity. This big, bad world of scarcity is what the study of economics is all about. That's why we usually subtitle scarcity: THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: Money Basics
  • What It Is
  • THE Medium
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: More About Money
  • Functions
  • Medium of Exchange
  • Measure of Value
  • Store of Value
  • Standard of Deferred Payment
  • Characteristics
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Monetary Aggregates
  • M1
  • M2
  • Near Monies
  • M3
  • L
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Money's History
  • Barter
  • Commodity Money
  • Metal Commodity Money
  • Fiat Money
  • Money
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Scarcity
  • Efficiency
  • Monetary Policy
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Money

    In this lesson, we examine my favorite economic topic -- money. In addition to being the root of all evil, money is a critical component of the macroeconomy. The basic rule is that too much money causes inflation and too little money causes unemployment. To lay the foundation for further study of money and the macroeconomy, this lesson presents the money basics, including what money is, what money does, how money is measured, and how money evolved to it's current format.

    • The first unit begins this lesson with a look at what money is (hint: anything that people use for exchanges), and money's role as a medium of exchange.
    • The main topics of the second unit are the four functions of money and the four characteristics of money.
    • The third unit then examines and compares the monetary aggregates, the official measures of money tracked by the U.S. government.
    • The history of money is the prime topic of the fourth unit, with a look at how modern fiat money evolved from self sufficiency, barter, and commodity money.
    • The fifth unit then ponders the connection between money, efficiency, and the scarcity problem, with an eye toward the use of monetary policies.

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    BUSINESS CYCLES

    The recurring, but irregular, expansions and contractions of economic activity in the macroeconomy. While business cycles are frequently measured by real gross domestic product, they show up in many aggregate measures of economic activity, including the unemployment rate, the inflation rate, consumption expenditures, and tax collections, to name just a few. The study of macroeconomics is largely the study of business cycles. Macroeconomic theories seek to understand business cycles and macroeconomic policies seek to correct the problems of business cycles.

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    RED AGGRESSERINE
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    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time looking for a downtown retail store wanting to buy either a coffee cup commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki or a rechargeable battery for your cell phone. Be on the lookout for jovial bank tellers.
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    The wealthy industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, was once removed from a London tram because he lacked the money needed for the fare.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

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