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SCARCE: The general condition indicating that a good or resource is limited relative to the what people want. In terms of ALL resources and goods throughout society, the related term scarcity is used. Being scarce is what makes it possible to exchange goods and resources through markets, and most importantly, charge a price. If a good is not scarce, which means that the economy has more than enough to satisfy all available uses, then there is no way to sell it. Who would buy such an item, pay a price for it, give up something of value in exchange for it, when it is so abundant? Likewise, if a item is so abundant, using it to satisfy one use does not impose an opportunity cost on other uses.

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Lesson 17: Money | Unit 4: Money's History Page: 20 of 25

Topic: Fiat Money <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Fiat money has little or no value in use compared to value in exchange. The value in exchange of fiat money is under control of an authority, usually government.

The transition:

  • First: Paper currency was backed by metal stored in a secure location. The paper could be traded for equivalent amounts of silver or gold.
  • Second: Because no one traded paper currency for metal, metal wasn't needed to back the paper. They just need a paper currency-to-metal exchange rate.
  • Third: Authorities stopped fixing the currency-to-metal exchange price. Paper currency was valuable based on the ability to purchase goods.

A two-edged sword:

  • Authority acquires the ability to control money and also the responsibility.

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FALLACY OF PERSONAL ATTACK

The logical fallacy of arguing that something is bad because someone "associated" with the thing is ugly, has a funny nose, drives a foreign car, regularly watches daytime soap operas, or wears outdated clothing. This fallacy of personal attack runs rampant in the political arena. Some politicians promote the notion that only good people propose good policies, while bad people have bad policies. The fact of the matter is that good people propose bad policies and bad people propose good policies.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites trying to buy either a key chain with a built-in flashlight and panic button or a green and yellow striped sweater vest. Be on the lookout for deranged pelicans.
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Approximately three-fourths of the U.S. paper currency in circular contains traces of cocaine.
"Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment."

-- Grenville Kleiser, Author

GARCH
Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity
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