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May 29, 2020 

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SCARCITY: A pervasive condition of human existence that exists because society has unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources used for their satisfaction. In other words, while we all want a bunch of stuff, we can't have everything that we want. In slightly different words, this scarcity problem means: (1) that there's never enough resources to produce everything that everyone would like produced; (2) that some people will have to do without some of the stuff that they want or need; (3) that doing one thing, producing one good, performing one activity, forces society to give up something else; and (4) that the same resources can not be used to produce two different goods at the same time. We live in a big, bad world of scarcity. This big, bad world of scarcity is what the study of economics is all about. That's why we usually subtitle scarcity: THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM.

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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 browsing through a long list of dot com websites trying to buy either arch supports for your shoes or an AC adapter that works with your MPG player. Be on the lookout for strangers with large satchels of used undergarments.
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