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LECTURE 3 A DEMONSTRATION OF SCARCITY THAT NECESSITATES MAKING A CHOICE In a copy of The Arizona Republic I found a very interesting (to me) article entitled “Cotton industry in Ariz. frayed by urban growth”, by Angelique Soenarie. (I have put a pdf copy of this article, and two other more recent articles, on Blackboard.) 1 The article introduced me to the “five C’s of Arizona’s economy . . . .” (Note that when one quotes perfectly accurately, one includes all the original misuse of capitals, or their absence, as well as punctuation.) The Five Cs of Arizona’s Economy are climate, copper, citrus, cattle, and cotton. The article said that these historically have made up the backbone of the Arizona economy. What the author meant, in scientific terms, is that these five industries , historically, have been the most important industries in Arizona with respect to the number of people employed, or annual amount of income generated, or annual amount of sales generated, or some other unspecified measure of “importance”. See how scientists think: What is the unit of measurement? The author doesn’t say. Is it the number of people working in the industry? Is it the total annual output of the industry, measured in dollars of revenue generated by the firms in the industry? (The total revenue of a firm is the total dollar sales of the firm during some period of time, usually a year.) Whether these five industries are, (or were, at sometime in the past), the five most important industries in the state is what we call, as scientists, an empirical question . That is, if you want to define the most “important” industry in Arizona as the industry that employs, at any given time, the most workers, then you are free to do so. Then check the statistics and see, empirically, what the employment levels of all the major industries actually are. You also could do so with “total revenue of each industry.” Just try to make clear what it is that you are talking about. I have no doubt that these are, or have been at some time in the past, some of the most important industries in the state. Just as I know, without checking the statistics, that, now, or at some time in the past, the automobile industry constitutes one of the most important, if not the most important, industry in the history of the state of Michigan. (Remember the “Motor City”, which is famous for cars, as 1 The first article only cited data through the end of 2006. To update the graph on the first page of the article: Total cotton acreage harvested in 2007 was 171 thousand acres, and in 2008 was 134 thousand acres. In 2009 cotton started making a comeback in Arizona and in the U.S. In 2009, 150 thousand acres were planted in Arizona, and in 2010 the acreage increased to 200 thousand acres. The third article predicts that 250 thousand acres in Arizona will be planted in cotton in 2011.
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well as “Motown” music. I wonder which is more important in Motown, cars or music, but I digress.) The article states that Sonny Hatley, a cotton farmer, harvested 400 acres of
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