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RESOURCE ALLOCATION: The process of dividing up and distributing available, limited resources to competing, alternative uses that satisfy unlimited wants and needs. Given that world is rampant with scarcity (unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources), every want and need cannot be satisfied with available resources. Choices have to be made. Some wants and needs are satisfied, some are not. These choices, these decisions are the resource allocation process. An efficient resource allocation exists if society has achieved the highest possible level of satisfaction of wants and needs from the available resources AND resources can not be allocated differently to achieve any greater satisfaction.

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SECOND ESTATE:

Another term for the business sector. This is one of four divisions of society based on economic function. The other three are government as the first estate, consumers as the third estate, and journalists as the fourth estate.
The notion of dividing society into different "estates" has roots in 18th century France, in which clergy and religious leaders were considered the first estate, royalty and aristocracy were the second estate, and peasants, serfs, and the working class were viewed as the third estate. Inventive journalists extended this classification to include themselves as the fourth estate.

The modern estates retain the essence of this division with an update to the realities of the modern economy. Government leaders and politicians, rather than clergy, assume their position in the first estate. Business leaders, rather than royalty, take over rule of the second estate. Rank-and-file consumers and those in the working class make up the third estate. And journalists continue as the fourth estate.

In past centuries, the second estate included kings, queens, dukes and others of the ruling elite. In modern times, this includes business leaders who have extensive ownership of and control over resources, especially capital, entrepreneurship, and land. The interests of the second estate are usually in direct conflict with the consumers and workers of the third estate. In that the second estate tends to have more economic and political clout, they also tend to get the upper hand in most conflicts. Help for consumers may come from the government leaders of the first estate or the watchdog journalists of the fourth estate. The wealth and power of the second estate invariably infiltrates the first and fourth estates, as well.

Consider the case of Winston Smythe Kennsington III, the President and CEO of OmniConglomerate, Inc. Winston was born and bred by his father Winston Smythe Kennsington II to take over control of OmniConglomerate, Inc., a company that was founded by Winston Smythe Kennsington I. Winston (III) has never been involved in anything other than seeking to improve the corporate bottom line. Winston Smythe Kennsington III is a card-carrying member of the second estate.

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SECOND ESTATE, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2024. [Accessed: May 22, 2024].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | four estates | first estate | third estate | fourth estate |


Or For A Little Background...

     | first estate | third estate | fourth estate | economy | Government | Business | capital | entrepreneurship | land |


And For Further Study...

     | ownership and control | three questions of allocation | economic system | seven economic rules | government functions | distribution standards | political views | legal business organizations | firm | business | business sector | factors of production | capitalism |


Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

     | American Enterprise Institute | Better Business Bureau | U.S. Chamber of Commerce | World Chamber of Commerce |


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