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May 13, 2021 

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BUDGET PROPORTION: One of three elasticity determinants (time period and substitute availability are the other two) stating that the elasticity of a good tends to be greater when the proportion of the budget devoting to the good is greater. In other words, the price elasticity of demand for housing (which takes up a sizeable portion of most budgets) is greater than that for a pair of socks (which does not take up much of most budgets). Even small percentage changes in goods that constitute a sizeable share of income can be quite large in absolute terms. As such, buyers tend to more sensitive to price changes in big-budget expenditures. This elasticity determinant works primarily for the price elasticity of demand.

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EQUILIBRIUM

A state that exists when opposing forces are in balance, with each force exactly offsetting the other, such that there is no inherent tendency for change. Once achieved, an equilibrium persists unless or until it is disrupted by an outside force. The notion of equilibrium is an essential feature in most economic models, such as the market model.

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Fact 2: Our Subjective Values

Upon leaving Scarcity Stan's Bakery Shoppe and Confectionery Palace our pedestrian's excursion drops into Mega-Mart Discount Warehouse Super Center. A quick tour of this mecca of mass production -- lasting no more than three days -- is likely to reveal within the 20 gadzillion square feet of floor space a number of sales racks, shelves, and tables filled with merchandise marked down for clearance. A prominently displayed sign on one sales rack boldly declares that the regular $24.99 price has been drastically reduced, for this week only, to $3.98. What a bargain! What a sale! We have the chance -- "for a limited time only" -- to get stuff valued at $24.99 for only $3.98! With a bargain like this, how can we lose?

It's easy to lose, if you don't understand the concept of value. Most of us have several "bargains" stored away in the attic, closet, or garage that never have seen, and probably never will see, anything resembling use. What seemed like a great "bargain" at the store, does nothing but occupy space at home. (By the way, does anyone have use for a distributor cap for a 1949 Ford?)
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling around a discount warehouse buying club wanting to buy either a T-shirt commemorating yesterday or a pair of handcrafted oven mitts. Be on the lookout for cardboard boxes.
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In the late 1800s and early 1900s, almost 2 million children were employed as factory workers.
"The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss. "

-- Thomas Carlyle, Historian

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