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
(I have put a pdf copy of this article, and two other more recent
articles, on Blackboard.)
The article introduced me to the “five C’s of Arizona’s economy . . . .”
that when one quotes perfectly accurately, one includes all the original
misuse of capitals, or their absence, as well as punctuation.)
Five Cs of Arizona’s Economy
are climate, copper, citrus, cattle, and
The article said that these historically have made up the backbone of
the Arizona economy.
What the author meant, in scientific terms, is that
, 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?
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
You also could do so with “total revenue of each industry.”
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
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.
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.