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September 21, 2020 

AmosWEB means Economics with a Touch of Whimsy!

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BARTER: A method of trading goods, commodities, or services, directly for one another without the use of money. In a barter exchange one good is traded directly for another. This sort of exchange ultimately requires a double coincidence of wants, meaning that each trader has what the other trader wants and wants what the other has. Without a double coincidence of wants the exchange process can become exceedingly complex, requiring a great deal of resources to complete transactions, resources that can not be used for production. In fact, inefficient barter trading was the primary reason that money was invented. With money, more resources can be used for production and fewer are needed for trading.

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STATISTICAL DISCREPANCY

The official adjustment factor in the National Income and Product Accounts that ensures equality between the income and expenditures approaches to measuring gross domestic product. This is one of several differences between national income (the resource cost of production) and gross (and net) domestic product (the market value of production). It is also the key difference between gross domestic income and gross domestic product. This statistical discrepancy tends to be relatively small, usually less than 1 percent of gross domestic product.

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Fact 2: Our Subjective Values

Upon leaving Scarcity Stan's Bakery Shoppe and Confectionery Palace our pedestrian's excursion drops into Mega-Mart Discount Warehouse Super Center. A quick tour of this mecca of mass production -- lasting no more than three days -- is likely to reveal within the 20 gadzillion square feet of floor space a number of sales racks, shelves, and tables filled with merchandise marked down for clearance. A prominently displayed sign on one sales rack boldly declares that the regular $24.99 price has been drastically reduced, for this week only, to $3.98. What a bargain! What a sale! We have the chance -- "for a limited time only" -- to get stuff valued at $24.99 for only $3.98! With a bargain like this, how can we lose?

It's easy to lose, if you don't understand the concept of value. Most of us have several "bargains" stored away in the attic, closet, or garage that never have seen, and probably never will see, anything resembling use. What seemed like a great "bargain" at the store, does nothing but occupy space at home. (By the way, does anyone have use for a distributor cap for a 1949 Ford?)
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a dollar discount store seeking to buy either a travel case for you toothbrush or a looseleaf notebook binder. Be on the lookout for slow moving vehicles with darkened windows.
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Parker Brothers, the folks who produce the Monopoly board game, prints more Monopoly money each year than real currency printed by the U.S. government.
"Always remember that striving and struggle precede success, even in the dictionary. "

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