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SCARCE RESOURCE: A resource with an available quantity less than its desired use. Scarce resources are also called factors of production. Scarce goods are also termed economic goods. Scarce resources are used to produce scarce goods. Like the more general society-wide condition of scarcity, a given resource is scarce because it has a limited availability in combination with a greater (potentially unlimited) productive use. It's both of these that make it scarce. In other words, even though an item is quite limited it will not be a scarce resource if it has few if any uses (think pocket lint and free good).

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FALLACY OF DIVISION:

The logical fallacy of arguing that what is true for the whole is also true for the parts. In the study of economics, this takes the form of assuming that what works for the aggregate, or macroeconomy, also works for parts of the economy, such as households or businesses. The contrasting fallacy is the fallacy of composition.
The fallacy of division, together with the fallacy of composition, highlights the difference between macroeconomics and microeconomics. Macroeconomics operates according one set of laws and principles, while microeconomics operates according to another set. Assuming what works for the aggregate economy also works for parts of the economy leads to the fallacy of division.

For example, during economic bad times (recession), the appropriate action for the Federal government (as "caretaker" of the aggregate economy) is to increase spending and reduce taxes. A recessionary period is not the time for government to act prudently, to save, to set aside extra funds for a rainy day.

However, should a family or business try to operate in a similar manner, then they are bound to encounter problems, and to commit the fallacy of division. Saving less and spending more during a recession can be disastrous at the microeconomic family level.

The aggregate economy is a complex system comprised of smaller microeconomic components. An analogy is the human body. Individuals and firms make up the aggregate economy like cells and molecules make up the human body. Rules that apply to entire body do not apply to the cells. Rules that apply to entire macroeconomy do not apply to the firms, households, markets, and industries.

What is true at the macroeconomic level is not necessarily true at the microeconomic level. What is true for the whole is not necessarily true for the parts.

<= FALLACY OF COMPOSITIONFALLACY OF FALSE AUTHORITY =>


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FALLACY OF DIVISION, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2024. [Accessed: February 27, 2024].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | fallacies | fallacy of false cause | fallacy of personal attack | fallacy of mass appeal | fallacy of false authority | fallacy of composition |


Or For A Little Background...

     | scientific method | economic thinking | political views | government functions |


And For Further Study...

     | seven economic rules | four estates | macroeconomics | microeconomics | sixth rule of ignorance | seventh rule of complexity | normative economics | economic science |


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