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January 21, 2021 

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TRADING BLOC: A group of countries that are economically intertwined, share some common cultural background, are located close together, and coordinate their foreign trade policies. There are three trading blocs of note, North America, Europe, and Asia, although other portions of the globe aspire to this status. The North American bloc centers around the good old U. S. of A. with Canada and Mexico playing increasingly important roles. The European bloc contains most of the Western Europe with leading roles played by Germany, Britain, and France. Japan is the center of the Asian bloc that includes Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and several others.

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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 watching infomercials hoping to buy either a coffee cup commemorating the moon landing or a how-to book on surfing the Internet. Be on the lookout for mail order catalogs with hidden messages.
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The wealthy industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, was once removed from a London tram because he lacked the money needed for the fare.
"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."

-- Oprah Winfrey

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