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WEIGHT GAINING: An activity in which the transportation cost of the output is greater than the transportation cost of the inputs. Using the term weight to mean transportation cost, an activity is said to gain weight if the cost of moving the output to the market is greater than the cost of getting the inputs to the factory. A weight-gaining activity has a greater attraction to, and tends to locate near, the market for the output.

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Fact 4: Our Monopolized Markets

Our pedestrian's jaunt through the economy is not, unfortunately, an unrestrained shopping spree for confectioneries, spark plug tools, and Houston, Texas. We have other important errands to run. At the moment we need to hike over to Shady Valley's exclusive provider of cable television services, the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television Company, Inc., to inquire about a mysterious fee that appeared last month's bill.

The good news is that the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters (the 4M people) Cable office is a mere 2 miles (3 kilometers for the metrically inclined) from the Shady Valley Central Town Sprawling Hills Shopping Mall. A hop, skip, and a moderately long jump later, our excursion through the economy takes us to the front door of the 4M Cable Television Company where I hope to discover why last month's cable bill included a $3,569 charge for something called "The Vacation Channel." I didn't even know I had a vacation channel. (But, I'm sure it's a great channel, and if I don't have it, then I will certainly subscribe. Please don't disconnect me.)

Of course, because this an afternoon workday, the doors of the 4M office are locked. I can almost make out, through the expensive stained glass windows, what appears to be several Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television employees, with champaign bottles in hand, dancing on expensive mahogany desks. Let's not disturb them. As they say in the cable business, an upset worker is a disconnected customer.
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WHITE GULLIBON
[What's This?]

Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time going from convenience store to convenience store looking to buy either several magazines on time travel or 500 feet of telephone cable. Be on the lookout for the happiest person in the room.
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This isn't me! What am I?

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, almost 2 million children were employed as factory workers.
"Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed."

-- Peter F. Drucker

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