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CHAPTER 1 THE AMAZING THEORY OF RAW-MATERIAL SCARCITY The Great Toy Shortage Forget it Virginia Santa wont be leaving a Star Wars R2-D2 doll under the tree this year - just an IOU promising you one at some vague time between February and June Dont count on a Mego Micronaut kit for building your own robot either or a Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow which drinks water when its tail is pumped moos plaintively and squirts a tiny pailful of cloudy white milk from a detachable pink udder Not since the Grinch stole Christmas has there been such an unseasonable shortage Newsweek December 19 1977 p 58 CHAPTER 1 - TABLE OF CONTENTS The Great Toy Shortage Between Pig Copper and Dentistry What Do We Mean by Scarcity What is the Best Way to Forecast Scarcity and Costs Will the Future Break With the Past A Challenge to the Doomsdayers to Put Their Money Where Their Mouths Are Summary Afternote 1 The True Cost Price of Natural Resources Afternote 2 The Ultimate Shortage The Great Toy Shortage of 1977 clearly was a freak event We dont worry that a scarcity of Hula-Hoops pencils dental care radios or new musical compositions will last And we dont fear that a larger population will reduce the supply of these goods manufacturers will make more Yet people do worry about an impending scarcity of copper iron aluminum oil food and other natural resources According to a typical pronouncement by Paul Ehrlich the best-known contemporary doomster In the early 1970s the leading edge of the age of scarcity arrived With it came
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