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August 17, 2018 

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UNSTABLE EQUILIBRIUM: An equilibrium that is NOT restored if disrupted by an external force. This should be contrasted with stable equilibrium. While most equilibria studied in economics are of the stable variety, a few cases of unstable equilibria do emerge from time to time, in limited circumstances.

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PERFECT COMPETITION, DEMAND

The demand curve for the output produced by a perfectly competitive firm is perfectly elastic at the going market price. The firm can sell all of the output that it wants at this price because it is a relatively small part of the market. As a price taker, the firm has no ability to charge a higher price and no reason to charge a lower one. The market price facing a perfectly competitive firm is also average revenue and, most important, marginal revenue.

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Collecting WELFARE

I know word travels quickly among pedestrians of Shady Valley, but perhaps you haven't heard the latest. Pollyana Pumpernickel, the proprietor of Pollyana's Pet Palace, is no longer a pet proprietor. She's fallen on hard times, and fallen quite hard. Her husband of twelve years, Paul Pumpernickel has dumped her and their three young children to pursue insurance alternatives with Tricia Comer -- Smilin' Ted's sister and business partner in the All Comers Insurance Agency. Pollyana is distraught, to say the least. Paul Pumpernickel had been the dutiful househusband and caring father in his marriage partnership with Pollyana, but those duties fell onto the heavily burdened shoulders of Pollyana. The burden was too much. Pollyana's Pet Palace plundered into oblivion, leaving Pollyana penniless and jobless. Her only alternative was our government's public assistance program -- what you and I know as welfare. She's not pleased with her current social status, and neither, apparently is Winston Smythe Kennsington III, who ridicules poor Pollyana at every opportunity.
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time lost in your local discount super center trying to buy either a how-to book on fine dining or a coffee cup commemorating the first day of winter. Be on the lookout for malfunctioning pocket calculators.
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Helping spur the U.S. industrial revolution, Thomas Edison patented nearly 1300 inventions, 300 of which came out of his Menlo Park "invention factory" during a four-year period.
"The work of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind forward. "

-- Igor Sikorsky, aeronautical engineer

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