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May 26, 2022 

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FIRST ESTATE: In past centuries, this included the religious leaders and clergy. In modern times, I like to use it in reference to politicians and government leaders who can exert a great deal of control over resources through the coercive powers of government. One historical function of the first estate is to protect the less powerful consumers, taxpayers, and workers of the third estate from the market control typically held by the business leaders of the second estate. It is not uncommon, however, for an unhealthy degree of cooperation between the first and second estates, which often ends up with the enslavement of the third estate (figuratively and literally). At times help is forthcoming from the watchdog journalist of the fourth estate--unless they too have been overtaken by the ruling elite.

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GRAY SKITTERY
Your compete MICRO*scope for today

You are the type of person who is in a constant struggle with the forces of good and evil, and you're losing the battle. Family and friends remove all caffeinated drinks and food products from their homes when you come to visit. Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time going from convenience store to convenience store looking to buy either a how-to book on surfing the Internet or a computer that can play music and burn CDs. Be on the lookout for slow moving vehicles with darkened windows. You should consider shopping at stores or businesses beginning with the letter I, but do not buy any products with a serial number or product code containing the number 676970. Your preferred shopping venue is mail order catalogs. Your special symbol is the question mark (?).


Is this You?

As a Gray Skittery, you are ambivalent, indecisive, and uncertain. You are in a constant struggle between the forces of demand and supply, production and consumption, good and evil... and you're losing the battle. You have trouble making decisions and choosing from among the seemingly infinite number of options that you perpetually face. Your shopping experiences are inevitably confusing.


This isn't me! What am I?
LAW OF COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE

A principle that states that every nation, worker, or production entity has a production activity that incurs a lower opportunity cost than that of another nation, worker, or production entity, which means that trade between the two can be beneficial to both if each specializes in the production of a good with lower relative opportunity cost. This law is most often studied in the confines of international trade, but it also applies to labor and other types of production.

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The Depths Of DEPRESSION

In the discussion of recession we see that one of the problems confronting both pedestrians and the economy is stepping in an occasional pothole. These potholes are usually small and do little damage. Every now and then, however, our economy falls face first into one humdinger of pothole that's big enough to swallow the better part of a marching band. Rather than a mere recessionary pothole, these are best thought of as depressionary canyons. The Great Depression of the 1930s was the most memorable depressionary canyon on record for the good old U. S. of A. The question we need to ponder over the next few pages is: Are there any more depressionary canyons like the 1930s lurking along the economic pavement?
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APLS

The standard "debt" notation I.O.U. does not mean "I owe you," but actually stands for "I owe unto..."
"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. "

-- Albert Einstein

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