1. The state of being scarce or in short supply; shortage, dearth, paucity. 2. An economic principle where resources are limited and human needs are insatiable. Even with technological advances, there are never enough resources to satisfy the ever-increasing demand, therefore, sacrifice requires giving up something, or making tradeoffs in order to obtain more of what is wanted. Competition for scarce resources is driven by the market, where prices are one way to allocate scarce resources. The tension between available resources and the money to pay for them drives people to compete to make money. Both money and time are scarce resources. Most people have too little of one, the other, or both. An unemployed person may have an abundance of time and find it difficult to pay rent. A successful executive may be financially capable of retiring whenever they want, yet eat five-minute lunches and work 20 hours a day! Other people have very little time or money. The ideal is to have an abundance of time and money, however very few people achieve it.
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