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LAW OF DIMINISHING MARGINAL UTILITY: The principle stating that as more of a good is consumed, eventually each additional unit of the good provides less additional utility--that is, marginal utility decreases. Each subsequent unit of a good is valued less than the previous one. The law of diminishing marginal utility helps explain the negative slope of the demand curve and the law of demand.

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SCARCITY: A pervasive condition of human existence that exists because society has unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources used for their satisfaction. In other words, while we all want a bunch of stuff, we can't have everything that we want. In slightly different words, this scarcity problem means: (1) that there's never enough resources to produce everything that everyone would like produced; (2) that some people will have to do without some of the stuff that they want or need; (3) that doing one thing, producing one good, performing one activity, forces society to give up something else; and (4) that the same resources can not be used to produce two different goods at the same time. We live in a big, bad world of scarcity. This big, bad world of scarcity is what the study of economics is all about. That's why we usually subtitle scarcity: THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM.

     See also | first rule of scarcity | unlimited wants and needs | limited resources | satisfaction | resources | wants | needs | production | consumption | economics | opportunity cost | scarce resource |


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CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE

A nonpartisan governmental support agency that provides Congress with analyses needed for economic and budget decisions and with the information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process. The Congressional Budget Office was created by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. It began operating on February 24, 1975. The Congressional Budget Office is composed primarily of economists and public policy analysts. About 70 percent of its professional staff hold advanced degrees in either economics or public policy.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time wandering around the downtown area seeking to buy either a how-to book on fixing your computer, with illustrations or several magazines on computer software. Be on the lookout for spoiled cheese hiding under your bed hatching conspiracies against humanity.
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Francis Bacon (1561-1626), a champion of the scientific method, died when he caught a severe cold while attempting to preserve a chicken by filling it with snow.
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