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January 26, 2022 

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RULE OF CONSUMER EQUILIBRIUM: A condition of consumer equilibrium and utility maximization stating that the marginal utility-price ratio for all goods are equal. This rule is a handy way of checking for consumer equilibrium and utility maximization. If the rule is not satisfied, then consumer equilibrium and utility maximization are not achieved.

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POLLUTION: Any waste that imposes an opportunity cost when it's returned to the natural environment. Pollution is one of the more prevalent examples of an externality cost and market failure. Examples include, but by no means are limited to, car exhaust, municipal sewage, industrial waste, and agricultural chemical runoff from farms. Pollution waste can be classified as degradable, persistent, or nondegradable, depending on how easily it can be broken down into nonharmful form by the natural environment. Pollution problems can never be eliminated, but they can be handled with efficiency if the amount of pollution is such that the cost of damages is the same as the cost of cleanup.

     See also | market failure | externality | environment | natural resources | materials balance | efficiency | Pigouvian tax | recycling | regulation | Coase theorem | command and control | pollution rights market |


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INFLATION PROBLEMS

Two notable problems are associated with inflation--uncertainty and haphazard redistribution. Inflation, especially inflation that varies from month to month and year to year, makes long-term planning quite difficult. Prices, wages, taxes, interest rates, and other nominal values that enter into consumer, business, and government planning decisions can be significantly affected by inflation. Moreover, inflation tends to redistribute income and wealth in a haphazard manner--some people win and some people lose. This redistribution might not be that desired by society, failing to promote any of the basic economic goals of efficiency, equity, stability, growth, or full-employment.

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