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ABSTRACTION: Simplifying the complexities of the real world by ignoring (hopefully) unimportant details while doing economic analysis. Abstraction is often criticized because it's, well, it's JUST NOT REALISTIC. However, when done correctly (ignoring things that JUST DON'T MATTER), then the pursuit of knowledge is greatly enhanced by abstraction. For example, when travelling cross country along a high-speed interstate highway, a paper road map is a handy tool. It shows towns and cities along the way, the major intersections, rest stop locations, and other important points of interest. However, it ignores unimportant details. It doesn't realistically show the location of every tree, bush, or blade of grass. Why bother? This information won't enhance your road trip.

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FREE TRADE AREAS

A group of nations that have agreed to eliminate (or at least minimize) trade barriers -- especially tariffs, import quotas, and assorted regulatory non-tariff barriers -- within the group to encourage mutual trade. Free trade areas are usually contiguous or adjacent nations, often located on the same continent. Three noted free trade areas are comprised of nations located in North America, Europe, and Asia.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through mail order catalogs wanting to buy either a small, foam rubber football or an instructional DVD on learning to the play the oboe. Be on the lookout for crowded shopping malls.
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More money is spent on gardening than on any other hobby.
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