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OPPORTUNITY COST: The highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity. This is a hallmark of anything dealing with economics--and life for that matter--because any action that you take prevents you from doing something else. The ultimate source of opportunity cost is the pervasive problem of scarcity (unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources). Whenever limited resources are used to satisfy one want or need, there are an unlimited number of other wants and needs that remain unsatisfied. Herein lies the essence of opportunity cost. Doing one thing prevents doing another.

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Lesson 7: Market Equilibrium | Unit 5: Efficiency Page: 17 of 22

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Efficiency is one of the five basic goals of the economy. It's nice to have, if you can.
  • Efficiency is getting the most satisfaction of wants and needs from available resources.
  • Scarcity is less of a problem when resources are used efficiently.
  • Economists like markets because they can achieve efficiency under the right conditions. And because markets are self-correcting, they can achieve this efficiency without intervention.

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BALANCE ON MERCHANDISE TRADE

A subset of the balance of payments current account that records the difference between the payments received for exports of goods to other nations and the payments made for the imports of goods from other nations. The goods included are physical or tangible goods, but not intangible services. The balance on merchandise trade is thus appropriately divided into merchandise exported and merchandise imported. Two other subsets of the current account include the balance on services and unilateral transfers. The commonly termed balance of trade is the sum of the balance on merchandise trade and the balance on services.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time lost in your local discount super center wanting to buy either a flower arrangement for your aunt or a birthday greeting card for your uncle. Be on the lookout for cardboard boxes.
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A half gallon milk jug holds about $50 in pennies.
"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."

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