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MARGINAL COST AND MARGINAL PRODUCT: Because variable cost is largely associated with the cost of employing a variable input in the short run, it's possible to identify a connection between the marginal cost curve and the marginal product curve. In particular, the quantity of output in which marginal cost is at a minimum, is the same quantity of output produced by the variable input when the marginal product of the variable input is at a maximum. In addition, over the range of production in which the variable input experiences increasing marginal returns and marginal product increases, the marginal cost curve declines. And over the range of production in which the variable input experiences decreasing marginal returns brought on by the law of diminishing marginal returns and marginal product increases, the marginal cost curve is rising.

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ASSUMPTIONS, KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS

The macroeconomic study of Keynesian economics relies on three key assumptions--rigid prices, effective demand, and savings-investment determinants. First, rigid or inflexible prices prevent some markets from achieving equilibrium in the short run. Second, effective demand means that consumption expenditures are based on actual income, not full employment or equilibrium income. Lastly, important savings and investment determinants include income, expectations, and other influences beyond the interest rate. These three assumptions imply that the economy can achieve a short-run equilibrium at less than full-employment production.

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Fact 2: Our Subjective Values

Upon leaving Scarcity Stan's Bakery Shoppe and Confectionery Palace our pedestrian's excursion drops into Mega-Mart Discount Warehouse Super Center. A quick tour of this mecca of mass production -- lasting no more than three days -- is likely to reveal within the 20 gadzillion square feet of floor space a number of sales racks, shelves, and tables filled with merchandise marked down for clearance. A prominently displayed sign on one sales rack boldly declares that the regular $24.99 price has been drastically reduced, for this week only, to $3.98. What a bargain! What a sale! We have the chance -- "for a limited time only" -- to get stuff valued at $24.99 for only $3.98! With a bargain like this, how can we lose?

It's easy to lose, if you don't understand the concept of value. Most of us have several "bargains" stored away in the attic, closet, or garage that never have seen, and probably never will see, anything resembling use. What seemed like a great "bargain" at the store, does nothing but occupy space at home. (By the way, does anyone have use for a distributor cap for a 1949 Ford?)
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at an auction wanting 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 broken fingernail clippers.
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The Dow Jones family of stock market price indexes began with a simple average of 11 stock prices in 1884.
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