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REALISM OF MONOPOLY: If taken to the extreme, monopoly, like perfect competition is an ideal market structure that does not actually exist in the real world. In the extreme, a "pure" monopoly is a market containing one and only ONE seller of good, a good with absolutely, positively no substitutes. The product is absolutely, certifiably unique. It's not just that it has no CLOSE substitutes, it has NO substitutes. Period. End of story. In the real world, however, every product, no matter how seemingly unique it might appear, has substitutes. The substitutes might not be very close. They might be really, really bad substitutes. But they are substitutes. As such, there are no pure monopolies in the real world.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time going from convenience store to convenience store wanting to buy either a genuine fake plastic Tiffany lamp or a microwave over that won't burn your popcorn. Be on the lookout for letters from the Internal Revenue Service.
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In the Middle Ages, pepper was used for bartering, and it was often more valuable and stable in value than gold.
"No man, for any considerable time, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true."

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