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January 26, 2022 

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UNEMPLOYMENT SOURCES: The unemployment of resources in general, and labor in particular, can be attributable to four basic reasons, or sources: cyclical, seasonal, frictional, and structural. Cyclical unemployment is involuntary unemployment created by business cycle recessions. Seasonal unemployment is relatively regular, read this as predictable, unemployment tied to a particular job. Frictional unemployment is temporary unemployment created when workers switch jobs. Structural unemployment is relatively permanent unemployment created because workers' skills are not the same as the skills needed on the job.

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PUBLIC GOOD: A good that's difficult to keep nonpayers from consuming (excludability), and use of the good by one person doesn't prevent use by others (rival consumption). Examples include national defense, a clean environment, and any fourth of July fireworks display. Public goods are invariably provided by government because there's no way a private business can profitably produce them. Private businesses can't sell public goods in markets, because they can't charge a price and keep nonpaying people away. Moreover, businesses shouldn't charge a price, because there's no opportunity cost for extra consumers. For efficiency, government needs to pay for public goods through taxes.

     See also | good types | excludability | rival consumption | efficiency | market | exchange | market failure | common-property good | near-public good | private good | free-rider problem |


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MARKET FAILURES

Imperfections in the exchange process between buyers and sellers that prevent markets from efficiently allocating scarce resources. Market failures come in four varieties -- public goods, market control, externalities, and imperfect information. Market efficiency is achieved if the value of goods produced is equal to the value of foregone production. Markets fail when this efficiency condition is not achieved. Such failures can only be corrected by government intervention.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing about a thrift store looking to buy either a black duffle bag with velcro closures or any book written by Isaac Asimov. Be on the lookout for letters from the Internal Revenue Service.
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A thousand years before metal coins were developed, clay tablet "checks" were used as money by the Babylonians.
"It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly. "

-- Isaac Asimov

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