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"To all these people - from academia and journalism, as well as the [American] middle class themselves - it apparently seemed strange somehow that there should be such a thing as scarcity and that this should imply a need for both productive efforts on their part and personal responsibility in spending. Yet nothing has been more pervasive in the history of the human race than scarcity and all the requirements for economizing that go with scarcity." - from Sowell's Basic Economics.
Andrew Dunn's profile photoJeremy Caney's profile photoAnne Earhart's profile photoMatthew Crofut's profile photo
It isn't strange that there is scarcity. What is strange is that we have the means to eliminate scarcity yet are not doing so.
If there were a like button, I'd press it, Anne.
+Anne Earhart: The author's point is that there will always be scarcity - that human's will always have the capacity to want more.

That said, I'm certain Sowell would agree that the system can be optimized to reduce the impact of innate scarcity through better distribution, incentives and policies - as that's the main point of the book :).

But he'd also argue (as would I) that it requires both "productive efforts" and "responsibility in spending" on an individual level. Clearly, a widespread cultural issue within this country is an unwillingness to spend within our means, or to invest into the future: this is the foundation of the housing bubble (at the micro level), as well as the debt ceiling (at the macro level).
Scarcity will never be removed. We can't all drive Ferrari's, we can't all have lobster and filet mignon each night, we can't all have beach front villas.
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