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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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PLURALITY RULE: A voting rule in which decisions are made based on a plurality of the votes cast. A plurality is defined as the most votes obtained when more than two candidates or options exist, but none receives a majority. If, for example, two of three candidates running for office receive 33 percent of the vote, then the third candidate with 34 percent receives the plurality. Presidential primary elections, which can have up to a dozen candidates, are commonly won with a plurality of the votes. This is one of several voting rules. Others include majority, super majority, and unanimity.

     See also | public choice | majority rule | super majority rule | unanimity rule | voter paradox | principle of the median voter | logrolling | explicit logrolling | implicit logrolling | Tiebout hypothesis | principal-agent problem |


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LABOR FORCE

The total number of people in an economy, society, or country willing and able to exert mental and/or physical efforts in productive activities. The labor force is a more technical term for the labor resource or labor supply. It includes both employed workers and unemployed workers. An official variation of this term is civilian labor force. While labor force may or may not include military personnel, the civilian labor force explicitly excludes the military. Labor and labor resources are the theoretical terms that economists like to banter about. Labor force and civilian labor force are the terms of choice for government policy makers, data-crunchers, and others who need precise labor resource numbers.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time waiting for visits from door-to-door solicitors trying to buy either a blue mechanical pencil or super soft, super cuddly, stuffed animals. Be on the lookout for strangers with large satchels of used undergarments.
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Much of the $15 million used by the United States to finance the Louisiana Purchase from France was borrowed from European banks.
"I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. "

-- Ronald Reagan, 40th US president

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