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SECOND RULE OF SUBJECTIVITY: The second of seven basic rules of the economy. It is the notion that market prices are ultimately determined by subjective values and preferences of buyers and resource owners. While regular, everyday consumers are prone to accept the prices "set" by retail stores and other sellers as etched in stone (perhaps along with the Biblical ten commandments), such is not the case. The price of a product depends on two things, demand (especially the demand price that buyers are willing to pay) and supply (especially the supply price that sellers are willing to accept). Both, I repeat both, are subjectively determined. By subjective, I mean they are based on the values, beliefs, tastes, and preferences of people.

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SPECIALIZATION: The condition in which resources are primarily devoted to specific tasks. This is one of THE most important and most fundamental notions in the study of economics. Civilized human beings have long recognized that limited resources can be more effectively used in the production the goods and services that satisfy unlimited wants and needs if those resources specialize. For example, three ice cream parlor workers, can be, in total, more productive if one runs the cash register, another scoops the ice cream, and a third adds the hot fudge topping. By devoting their energies to learning how to do their respective tasks really, really well, these three workers can produce more hot fudge sundaes than if each performed all required tasks.

     See also | resources | economics | limited resources | production | goods | services | unlimited wants and needs | comparative advantage | division of labor |


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PROFIT MAXIMIZATION

The process of obtaining the highest possible level of profit through the production and sale of goods and services. The profit-maximization assumption is the guiding principle underlying production by a firm. In particular, it is assumed that firms undertake actions and make the decisions that increase profit. The profit-maximization assumption is the production counterpart to the utility-maximization assumption for consumer behavior.

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