On Scarcity

The underlying principle behind the modern economic theory lies in scarcity — some call economics the science of scarcity. Scarcity states that the resources we value, such as time, money, labor, tools, and capital, exist in limited supply. In other words, our ends are endless, but the means to fulfill these ends are limited and costly. Therefore, economics attempts to allocate limited means to meet our unlimited wants and needs. Thus, it seems perfectly rational to make economic decisions to bring the best outcome for oneself.

Conflict arises from the social nature of scarcity. By focusing on what others…



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