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December 11, 2018 

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DIAMOND-WATER PARADOX: The perplexing observation that water, which is more useful than diamonds, has a lower price. If price is related to utility, how can this occur? This paradox was first proposed by classical economists in the 19th century and was subsequently used as a stepping stone for developing the notion of marginal utility and the role it plays in the demand price of a good. The paradox is magically cleared up with an understanding of marginal utility and total utility. People are willing to pay a higher price for goods with greater marginal utility. As such, water which is plentiful has enormous total utility, but a low price because of a low marginal utility. Diamonds, however, have less total utility because they are less plentiful, but a high price because of a high marginal utility.

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EXCISE TAX: A tax on a specific good. This should be compared with a general sales tax, which is a tax on all (or nearly all) goods sold. The most common excise taxes are on alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline. Excise taxes are used either to discourage consumption of socially undesirable stuff (like alcohol and tobacco) or to raise some easy revenue because the government knows buyers will keep buying regardless of the tax (like alcohol and tobacco).

     See also | tax | sales tax | consumption tax | consumption | luxury tax |


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PAPER ECONOMY

Markets, exchanges, and other assorted economic activities that deal with legal or paper claims on physical assets rather than the physical assets. The vast majority of activities for the paper economy take place through financial markets. The paper economy complements production and consumption activities of the real economy that involve product markets and resource markets.

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BEIGE MUNDORTLE
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a flea market hoping to buy either a pair of blue silicon oven mitts or a coffee cup commemorating the 2000 Olympics. Be on the lookout for slightly overweight pizza delivery guys.
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In the late 1800s and early 1900s, almost 2 million children were employed as factory workers.
"There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there. "

-- Albert Einstein, physicist

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