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SCARCITY RENT: The marginal opportunity cost imposed on future generations by extracting one more unit of a resource today. Scarcity rent is one of two costs the extraction of a finite resource imposes on society. The other is marginal extraction cost--the opportunity cost of resources employed in the extraction activity. Scarcity rent is the cost of "using up" a finite resource because benefits of the extracted resource are unavailable to future generations. Efficiency is achieved when the resource price--the benefit society is willing to pay for the resource today--is equal to the sum of marginal extraction cost and scarcity rent.

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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 crowded estate auction wanting to buy either a flower arrangement with daisies and carnations for your uncle or a coffee cup commemorating next Thursday. Be on the lookout for high interest rates.
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The penny is the only coin minted by the U.S. government in which the "face" on the head looks to the right. All others face left.
"Now is the only time there is. Make your now wow, your minutes miracles, and your days pay. Your life will have been magnificently lived and invested, and when you die you will have made a difference."

-- Mark Victor Hansen

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