Monday, May 10, 2010

Scarcity (3) - Perfect Plenty

In an idealised paradise, everything I want would be immediately available. As soon as I wish for something, someone would bring it to me. Without scarcity, there would still be no choices, but every choice would be costless, because I would never have to give up anything to get something else.

Economics would be pointless in and idealised paradise. If there are no choices that involve costs, economics has no role. Decisions about allocation of effort and resources would not be needed.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, we do not live in this idealised paradise. (The paradise of the Christians hope will not be like this.) We all have to deal with a tendency to want more than we have. Societies have to find ways to deal with the reality the demand for goods and services is greater than supply. John Couretas is correct in saying that one of the fundamental realities of economic life is scarcity of everything from raw materials to money to the very time we have on God’s green earth.

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