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August 20, 2018 

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ABSTRACTION: Simplifying the complexities of the real world by ignoring (hopefully) unimportant details while doing economic analysis. Abstraction is often criticized because it's, well, it's JUST NOT REALISTIC. However, when done correctly (ignoring things that JUST DON'T MATTER), then the pursuit of knowledge is greatly enhanced by abstraction. For example, when travelling cross country along a high-speed interstate highway, a paper road map is a handy tool. It shows towns and cities along the way, the major intersections, rest stop locations, and other important points of interest. However, it ignores unimportant details. It doesn't realistically show the location of every tree, bush, or blade of grass. Why bother? This information won't enhance your road trip.

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BARTER: A method of trading goods, commodities, or services, directly for one another without the use of money. In a barter exchange one good is traded directly for another. This sort of exchange ultimately requires a double coincidence of wants, meaning that each trader has what the other trader wants and wants what the other has. Without a double coincidence of wants the exchange process can become exceedingly complex, requiring a great deal of resources to complete transactions, resources that can not be used for production. In fact, inefficient barter trading was the primary reason that money was invented. With money, more resources can be used for production and fewer are needed for trading.

     See also | good | service | money | exchange | double coincidence of wants | resources | production | market |


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BARTER, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: August 20, 2018].


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PRINCIPLE

A generally accepted, verified, proven, fundamental law of nature. A principle captures a cause-and-effect relation about the workings of the world that has been tested and verified through the scientific method. The law of demand, law of increasing opportunity cost, and law of diminishing marginal utility are three fundamental (and extremely important) economic principles.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a going out of business sale trying to buy either a wall poster commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki or decorative garden figurines. Be on the lookout for door-to-door salesmen.
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Cyrus McCormick not only invented the reaper for harvesting grain, he also invented the installment payment for selling his reaper.
"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. "

-- David Brinkley, newsman

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