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UNLIMITED WANTS AND NEEDS: A characteristic of people such that they are never totally satisfied with the quantity and variety of goods and services. This is one half of the fundamental problem of scarcity that has plagued humanity since the beginning of time. The other half of the scarcity problem is limited resources. Unlimited wants and needs essentially means that people never get "enough"--that there's always something else that they would want or need.

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TRADE SURPLUS: Formally termed a balance of trade surplus, a condition in which a nation's exports are greater than imports. In other words, a country is buying less stuff from foreigners than foreigners are buying from domestic producers. A trade surplus is usually thought to be a good thing for a country. However, every country in the world cannot run a trade surplus at the same time. Excessive trade surpluses can also lead to invasion by sizable foreign armies.

     See also | balance of trade | import | export | net exports | foreign sector | trade surplus | trade barrier | exchange rate | devaluation | J curve |


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SPECIALIZATION

The condition in which resources are primarily devoted to specific production tasks. This is one of THE most important and most fundamental notions in the study of economics. Civilized human beings have long recognized that limited resources can be more effectively used in the production of the goods and services that satisfy unlimited wants and needs if those resources specialize.

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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 small, foam rubber football or an instructional DVD on learning to the play the oboe. Be on the lookout for fairy dust that tastes like salt.
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