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THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM: Another term for scarcity, which is the pervasive condition of human existence that exists because society has unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources used for their satisfaction. In other words, while we all want a bunch of stuff, we can't have everything that we want (see free lunch). In slightly different words, this scarcity problem means: (1) that there's never enough resources to produce everything that everyone would like produced; (2) that some people will have to do without some of the stuff that they want or need; (3) that doing one thing, producing one good, performing one activity, forces society to give up something else; and (4) that the same resources can not be used to produce two different goods at the same time. We live in a big, bad world of scarcity. This big, bad world of scarcity is what the study of economics is all about. That's why we usually subtitle scarcity: THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM.

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A: The common notation for the "intercept" term of an equation specified as Y = a + bX. Mathematically, the a-intercept term indicates the value of the Y variable when the value of the X variable is equal to zero. Theoretically, the a-intercept is frequently used to indicate exogenous or independent influences on the Y variable, that is, influences that are independent of the X variable. For example, if Y represents consumption and X represents national income, a measures autonomous consumption expenditures.

     See also | slope | b | exogenous variable | endogenous variable | consumption function | consumption | national income | model | principle | law | positive relation | negative relation |


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MICROECONOMIC GOALS

Two conditions of the mixed economy that are most important for microeconomics, including efficiency, and equity, that are generally desired by society and pursued by governments through economic policies.

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