...Why a World of Abundance Would, In Fact, Kill Some People (Finally!)

Insight is a Devastating Weapon

Insight is a devastating weapon.

Scarcity is the fundamental economic problem of having seemingly unlimited human wants in a world of [seemingly] limited resources. It states that society has insufficient productive resources to fulfill all human wants and needs. A common misconception on scarcity is that an item has to be important for it to be scarce [or valuable]. However, this is not true, for something to be scarce, it has to be hard to obtain, hard to create, or both[or intelligent and skilled labor can be made scarce by limiting opportunity to gifted individuals]. Simply put, the production cost of something determines if it is scarce or not. [Public and private policy decisions can make both old and new products, services, and ideas scarce regardless of material and economic necessity.] For example, although air is more important to us than diamonds, it is cheaper simply because the production cost of air is zero. Diamonds on the other hand have a high production cost. [It is widely known that the scarcity of diamonds on the open market is as much an effect of the manipulation of the market as of the difficulty of mining diamonds.] They have to be found and processed, both which require a lot of money. Additionally, scarcity implies that not all of society's goals can be pursued at the same time; trade-offs are made of one good against others. In an influential 1932 essay, Lionel Robbins defined economics as "the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses." [There are many goods which would be available in greater quantities, and at a lower price, which have no alternative use.]

In biology, scarcity can refer to the uncommonness or rarity of certain species. Such species are often protected by local, national or international law in order to prevent extinction. [Gifted individuals are often treated as less than full members of society, in part because of the seemingly effortless accomplishment of ends others consider to be valuable only as the product of a titanic struggle.]

Wikipedia:Artificial scarcity

Wikipedia:Post-scarcity economy

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