Want Desire

Want Desire

Want, a desire for a commodity or service. The desire may be to satisfy hunger, thirst, avoid cold or heat, to be cured of illness, be amused or entertained, earn praise, display generosity or kindness, or any others. Wants cannot be satisfied completely because goods and services are scarce relatively to the wants they could satisfy. Resources are best used, that is, yield the maximum total utility, when wants are satisfied equally at the margin, so that the marginal utility of an additional unit or batch of resources in satisfying different wants is the same in all uses. This also means that wants can never be satisfied completely, for to do so would be to use resources where their marginal utility is less than in others satisfied less fully. The logic of this principle in practice is that the community's satisfaction of wants is likely to be achieved better by a system of allocating resources in which small ('marginal') adjustments can be made than by a system of centralized priorities that are difficult to adjust for local or individual preferences.

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Since then his writings have in turn been increasingly reinterpreted as a special case both by some followers and by some economists who had not wholly accepted his writings. The content of economics is in a state of change, and this consumeraffairs.org.uk site is therefore not a final statement of economic doctrine.

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