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PHYSICAL FLOW: In the circular flow, the counter-clockwise transfer of goods and services from the business sector to the household sector and the transfer of resource services from the household sector to the business sector. The payment flow moves in the opposite direction. The physical flow, the physical movement of goods and services, is the foundation of the economy's circular flow. The fundamental problem of scarcity is addressed by physically transforming scarce resources into goods and services that are then used to satisfy wants and needs.

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Lesson 1: Economic Basics | Unit 3: The Economy Page: 7 of 18

Topic: An Economy <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Because of the scarcity problem, we need a way to divide up what we have. This is accomplished by an economy.

An economy is a system of production, distribution, and consumption of resources, goods, and services that addresses the basic economic problem of scarcity and answers the three questions of allocation: What? How? For Whom?

Economies rely on markets and government to perform the allocation task.

The allocation processes involves the institutions of:

  • Markets allocate resources through voluntary choices made by people--buyers and sellers.
  • Government allocates resources through involuntary taxes, laws, restrictions, and regulations imposed on these people.
Both are important methods of allocation.

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M2

The medium-range monetary aggregate for the U.S. economy containing the combination of M1 (currency and checkable deposits) and short-term, small denomination near monies. M2 contains financial assets that either function directly as money for the U.S. economy or can be easily and quickly converted into money. The near monies added to M1 to derive M2 include savings deposits, certificates of deposit, money market deposits, and money market mutual funds. M2 is one of three monetary aggregates tracked and reported by the Federal Reserve System. The other two are designated M1 and M3.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through the yellow pages looking to buy either a how-to book on surfing the Internet or a computer that can play music and burn CDs. Be on the lookout for slightly overweight pizza delivery guys.
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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.
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