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WORLD VIEW: An aspect of a scientific theory that includes fundamental, and unverifiable axioms, beliefs, and values about how the world works. On example of an unverifiable world view axiom is belief in the existence of supreme, omnipotent, omniscience being. Political philosophies, which are essential to economic theories, are intertwined with alternative world views.

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Lesson 1: Economic Basics | Unit 3: The Economy Page: 8 of 18

Topic: A Mixed Economy: Markets and Government <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Markets do an effective (and efficient) job of answering the three questions of allocation--most of the time.
  • Markets are the VOLUNTARY exchange of goods and services.
  • A pure market economy is an economy that uses nothing but markets to allocate resources.
  • A pure market economy is a useful theoretical benchmark.
Market responses to the allocation questions:
  • What? Resources are used to produce goods with the highest prices.
  • How? Goods are produced using the combination of resource with the lowest prices.
  • For Whom? People with more income buy more goods.

Government also helps answer the three questions of allocation.
  • Government allocation is INVOLUNTARY. It sets the laws and rules.
  • A pure command economy is an economy that uses nothing but government to allocate resources.
  • A pure command economy is another useful theoretical benchmark.
Government responses to the allocation questions:
  • What? When government spends taxes, it dictates what goods will be produced.
  • How? Government has laws and rules that specify how resources will be used to produce goods.
  • For Whom? Government collects taxes from some people and distributes them among other people.

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FREE-RIDER PROBLEM

A problem underlying the provision of public goods that occurs when a person consumes or benefits from a good without making payment. The free-rider problem is the primary reason that public goods are produced by governments. Because public goods are characterized by the inability to exclude nonpayers, once a public good is produced anyone, everyone, can consume without making payment, that is, get a "free ride." Voluntary payments like those occurring in markets will not provide enough revenue to pay production costs. The only way to finance public goods is to force free-riders, and everyone else, to pay through government taxes. The free-rider problem also applies to common-property goods.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time visiting every yard sale in a 30-mile radius trying to buy either storage boxes for your computer software CDs or a set of tires. Be on the lookout for jovial bank tellers.
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It's estimated that the U.S. economy has about $20 million of counterfeit currency in circulation, less than 0.001 perecent of the total legal currency.
"It is very rare that you meet with obstacles in this world (that) the humblest man has not the faculties to surmount. "

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