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May 20, 2022 

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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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JOB LOSERS: Unemployed workers who have been involuntarily laid off or fired from their jobs. This is one of the official categories or unemployed workers tracted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics when compiling employment statistics and the unemployment rate. It is also a key to the theoretical notion of cyclical unemployment.

     See also | unemployed | unemployment rate | cyclical unemployment | job losers | Current Population Survey | not in the labor force | employed persons | unemployed persons |


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INFLATION PROBLEMS

Two notable problems are associated with inflation--uncertainty and haphazard redistribution. Inflation, especially inflation that varies from month to month and year to year, makes long-term planning quite difficult. Prices, wages, taxes, interest rates, and other nominal values that enter into consumer, business, and government planning decisions can be significantly affected by inflation. Moreover, inflation tends to redistribute income and wealth in a haphazard manner--some people win and some people lose. This redistribution might not be that desired by society, failing to promote any of the basic economic goals of efficiency, equity, stability, growth, or full-employment.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time looking for the new strip mall out on the highway wanting to buy either a New York Yankees baseball cap or several magazines on home repairs. Be on the lookout for rusty deck screws.
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