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September 23, 2018 

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GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS: Activities that are more efficiently performed by government than by private sector households and business. In fact, historical evidence (that is, 10,000 years of civilization--more or less) strongly indicates that we, regularly human-being-type people, are willing to put of with the coercive shenanigans of government (taxes, laws, regulations, abuse of power, oppression of the masses, meaningless wars) only because government does perform useful functions. Fire is the best analogy for government. When raging out of control both fire and government can cause horrific devastation. But when controlled, both can provide unparalleled good.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: The Concept
  • A Definition
  • So What?
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Resources
  • Factors
  • Working Together
  • Free or Scarce?
  • Comparisons
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Opportunity Cost
  • The Concept
  • Economic Cost
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: College Cost
  • Out of Pocket
  • What Else?
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: THE Problem
  • No Free Lunch
  • Solutions?
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Scarcity

    In this lesson you'll see why scarcity tends to make economists grumpy. You'll see that scarcity is a perpetual condition that exists because people have unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources used to satisfy these wants and needs. You'll also see how this scarcity problem underlies the common notion of cost, which is integral to the study of economics. The five units contained in this lesson provide a tour through the economic problem of scarcity.

    • The first unit examines the fundamental concept of scarcity -- the combination of limited resources and unlimited wants and needs -- that is virtually synonymous with the study of economics.
    • The second unit discusses the four basic categories of limited resources --labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship -- that produce the goods that are used to satisfy unlimited wants and needs.
    • In the third unit, we take a look at the notion of opportunity cost and see how it is related to the scarcity problem.
    • We then turn out attention in the fourth unit to a simple example of the explicit and implicit costs of attending college.
    • The fifth and final unit in this lesson then ponders why scarcity is considered THE economic problem and providing a little insight into why economists are grump.

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    SAVING

    The after-tax disposable income of the household sector that is not used for consumption expenditures. Saving primarily involves the use of income to purchase legal claims through financial markets rather than the direct purchase of physical goods and services (which is consumption expenditures). In the circular flow model, saving is the diversion of household income away from consumption expenditures and into the financial markets, which then flows to business investment expenditures and government purchases. Saving is one of two basic uses of disposable income. The other is consumption expenditures.

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    APLS

    BROWN PRAGMATOX
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at the confiscated property police auction looking to buy either a how-to book on the art of negotiation or a flower arrangement for your aunt. Be on the lookout for door-to-door salesmen.
    Your Complete Scope

    This isn't me! What am I?

    Cyrus McCormick not only invented the reaper for harvesting grain, he also invented the installment payment for selling his reaper.
    "People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit. "

    -- George Allen, U.S. senator

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