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September 18, 2018 

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FOR WHOM?: One of three basic questions of allocation (What? and How? are the other two). Answering the "For Whom?" question of allocation determines who receives the goods that society produces with limited resources. Answering the "For Whom" question involves related questions such as, should goods be distributed to people according to incomes and ability to buy (contributive standard), wants and needs (needs standard), political affiliation, or some other criterion (perhaps equality standard)?

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PUBLIC GOOD: A good that's difficult to keep nonpayers from consuming (excludability), and use of the good by one person doesn't prevent use by others (rival consumption). Examples include national defense, a clean environment, and any fourth of July fireworks display. Public goods are invariably provided by government because there's no way a private business can profitably produce them. Private businesses can't sell public goods in markets, because they can't charge a price and keep nonpaying people away. Moreover, businesses shouldn't charge a price, because there's no opportunity cost for extra consumers. For efficiency, government needs to pay for public goods through taxes.

     See also | good types | excludability | rival consumption | efficiency | market | exchange | market failure | common-property good | near-public good | private good | free-rider problem |


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PUBLIC GOOD, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: September 18, 2018].


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RATIONAL ABSTENTION

The decision NOT to do something (such as vote in an election) because the cost of taking the action is more than the expected benefit. The rational decision to refrain from an endeavor is a straightforward application of utility maximization and along with the related notion of rational ignorance, is a source of voter apathy and government inefficiency.

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PINK FADFLY
[What's This?]

Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a going out of business sale hoping to buy either a rechargeable battery for your cell phone or a T-shirt commemorating the 2000 Olympics. Be on the lookout for cardboard boxes.
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Only 1% of the U.S. population paid income taxes when the income tax was established in 1914.
"As the births of living creatures at first are ill-shapen, so are all innovations, which are the births of time. "

-- Sir Francis Bacon, philosopher

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