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AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE: One of three national stock markets in the United States (see National Association of Securities Dealers and New York Stock Exchange) that trade ownership shares in corporations. In terms of daily stock transactions and the number of stocks listed, the American Stock Exchange is the smallest of these three. However, it's composite index of stock prices -- AMEX is considered important enough to be flashed briefly on the nightly news.

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PUBLIC CHOICE

The study of collective decisions made by groups of individuals, especially those decisions made by government organizations. As the name suggests, public choice is primarily the study of how choices (decisions) are made by the public (government) sector. Such choices are made, in principle, on behalf of the public or all members of society, to correct market failures or imperfections in the private sector. However, in that the world is imperfect on all fronts, the government sector also comes up short in many cases, with inefficient imperfections due to election seeking politicians, ignorant and abstaining voters, special interest groups, and government bureaucracies.

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Fact 1: Our Limited Pie

The first stop for any pedestrian on a leisurely stroll through the busy economic streets of Shady Valley is Scarcity Stan's Ye Olde Bakery Shoppe and Confectionery Palace. The most noted pastry on Scarcity Stan's list of delectables, wedged between his mouth-watering apple danishes and scrumptious jelly donuts, is economic pie. My mouth waters with the thought.

Economic pie isn't like other donuts, cakes, and confectioneries with their gobs of sweetness, but very little nutritional sustenance. In fact, given that it refers to the sum total of the economy's resources and productive activity, economic pie is filled to the brim with sustenance. Unfortunately, Scarcity Stan and the congregation of people we call society, has only one economic pie, and while it's pretty large, it's never quite as big as we would like.
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YELLOW CHIPPEROON
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a crowded estate auction looking to buy either a video game player or an AC adapter that won't fry your computer. Be on the lookout for the last item on a shelf.
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General Electric is the only stock from the original 1896 Dow Jones Industrial Average remaining in the current index.
"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."

-- Ann Landers, columnist

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