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December 13, 2017 

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DIVISION OF LABOR: A basic economic notion that labor resources are used more efficiently if work tasks are divided among different workers. This allows workers to specialize in production as each becomes highly skilled at specific tasks. Efficiency achieved through specialization and the division of labor was popularized by Adam Smith in his classic work, The Wealth of Nations. This division-of-labor notion is one of those concepts that is so fundamental to the economy that its importance is occasionally overlooked in the real world. It is, for example, essential to foreign trade. Without the division of labor the comfortable standard of living currently provided by our exceeding complex economic system would not be possible.

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CARTEL

A formal agreement between businesses in the same industry, usually on an international scale, to gain market control, raise the market price, and otherwise act like a monopoly. The most famous international cartel is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which seeks to exert control over the world oil market. Other cartels have existed, or still exist, in the global markets for uranium, diamonds, long distance telephone services, and airlines.

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Collecting WELFARE

I know word travels quickly among pedestrians of Shady Valley, but perhaps you haven't heard the latest. Pollyana Pumpernickel, the proprietor of Pollyana's Pet Palace, is no longer a pet proprietor. She's fallen on hard times, and fallen quite hard. Her husband of twelve years, Paul Pumpernickel has dumped her and their three young children to pursue insurance alternatives with Tricia Comer -- Smilin' Ted's sister and business partner in the All Comers Insurance Agency. Pollyana is distraught, to say the least. Paul Pumpernickel had been the dutiful househusband and caring father in his marriage partnership with Pollyana, but those duties fell onto the heavily burdened shoulders of Pollyana. The burden was too much. Pollyana's Pet Palace plundered into oblivion, leaving Pollyana penniless and jobless. Her only alternative was our government's public assistance program -- what you and I know as welfare. She's not pleased with her current social status, and neither, apparently is Winston Smythe Kennsington III, who ridicules poor Pollyana at every opportunity.
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time visiting every yard sale in a 30-mile radius trying to buy either clothing for your pet iguana or a set of hubcaps. Be on the lookout for deranged pelicans.
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