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June 21, 2018 

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REAL: The value after adjusting for inflation. Pointy-headed economist are frequently interested in comparing stuff (production, income, or whatever) in one year with similar stuff in another year. However, in that inflation can distort such a comparison, it's best made using a fixed set of prices that eliminate inflationary changes. In practice, this is accomplished by using the prices in an arbitrary "base year." Once the price differences have been eliminated, the numbers are said to be measured in real dollars.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: Economics
  • Definition
  • More...
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Doing Economics
  • Science and Policy
  • The Fields
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: The Economy
  • An Economy
  • A Mixed Economy: Markets and Government
  • A Mixed Economy: The Mix
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Economic Goals
  • Economic Goals
  • Tradeoffs
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Economic Policies
  • The Concept
  • Reasons
  • Problems
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Economic Basics

    This lesson provides an introduction and overview of economics. You'll come across a number of basic concepts and terms. The full importance of these might not be apparent until later lessons, but they WILL be important. Like other lessons to come, this one is divided into five units.

    • The first unit, Economics, offers up a definition of economics and provides two useful lists -- the three questions of allocation and the seven rules of economics.
    • The second unit, Doing Economics, explores the practice of economics, including positive and normative economics, macroeconomics and microeconomics, and six common logical fallacies.
    • In the third unit, An Economy, we turn our attention to real world economies that contain a mix of markets and governments.
    • We then examine the five basic goals of a mixed economy in the fourth unit, Economic Goals, including the three macro goals of full employment, stability, and growth; and the two micro goals of efficiency and equity.
    • The fifth and final unit in this lesson, Economic Policies, considers assorted economic policies that governments use to achieve the five economic goals.

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    PRODUCTION

    The process of transforming the natural resources of the land into consumer satisfying consumption goods or productive capital goods. This transformation process involves the four scarce resources or factors of production--labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship. Although production is generally the physical transformation of materials, it often involves the spatial relocation, or transportation, of commodities, as well.

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    PURPLE SMARPHIN
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through mail order catalogs seeking to buy either a birthday gift for your father that doesn't look like every other birthday gift for your father or a green fountain pen. Be on the lookout for slow moving vehicles with darkened windows.
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    This isn't me! What am I?

    There were no banks in colonial America before the U.S. Revolutionary War. Anyone seeking a loan did so from another individual.
    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. "

    -- Albert Einstein, physicist

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