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CAPITAL ACCOUNT: One of two parts of a nation's balance of payments. The capital is a record of all purchases of physical and financial assets between a nation and the rest of the world in a given period, usually one year. On one side of the balance of payments ledger account are all of the foreign assets purchase by our domestic economy. On the other side of the ledger are all of our domestic assets purchased by foreign countries. The capital account is said to have a surplus if a nation's investments abroad are greater than foreign investments at home. In other words, if the good old U. S. of A. is buying up more assets in Mexico, Brazil, and Hungry, than Japanese, Germany, and Canada investors are buying up of good old U. S. assets, then we have a surplus. A deficit is the reverse.

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THE WEALTH OF NATIONS: Officially titled An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, this book written by Adam Smith and published in 1776, is considered to be the foundation for the modern study of economics. The Wealth of Nations was the first to combine assorted economic discourse and analyses into a single book. One of its most important themes is the efficiency of free trade and market exchanges unrestricted by government that leads to macroeconomic full employment and microeconomic efficiency.

     See also | Adam Smith | classical economics | flexible prices | Say's law | saving-investment equality | full employment | Keynesian economics | macroeconomics | efficiency | entrepreneurship | laissez faire |


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SCARCE RESOURCE

A resource with an available quantity less than its desired use. Scarce, or economic, resources are also called factors of production and are generally classified as either labor, capital, land, or entrepreneurship. Scarce resources are the workers, equipment, raw materials, and organizers used to produce scarce goods. Like the more general society-wide condition of scarcity, a given resource falls into the scarce category because it has a limited availability in combination with greater (potentially unlimited) productive uses.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time wandering around the downtown area looking to buy either a birthday greeting card for your grandfather or a weathervane with a cow on top. Be on the lookout for spoiled cheese hiding under your bed hatching conspiracies against humanity.
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