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Neutrality of "Criticisms" section[edit]

The two-paragraph (at time of this writing) "Criticisms" section contains weasel words and asserts opinion (notably, "We hi should be careful here not to confuse wants and needs."). Perhaps someone can provide cites and adjust the language to reflect a NPOV? (I'm not the right guy to do it for this content.) Bionictulip 01:38, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I can see that there are problems with that section, in-fact I'm not quite sure what it's even talking about or what point is trying to be expressed. I think a better way to have a criticism section would be to talk about Post scarcity/Abundance ideas (possibly mentioning Artificial scarcity). For now I've gotten rid of that sentence you're talking about, by reverting it to an earlier more encyclopaedic sentence, and added a bit to make it more NPOV. It should probably be stated who is criticizing scarcity, namely people or groups advocating post scarcity, such as the Technocratic movement. --Hibernian 05:19, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
There weren't any "weasel words" or assertion of scarcity.

. Merely pointing out the fact that wants and needs are not the same. While there may not be enough to satisfy everyone's wants, there might still be enough to satisfy their needs. There might also be enough to satisfy their wants if their wants are not artificially inflated by things like advertising and peer pressure. If you can refute any of the information presented, by all means do so. Otherwise, don't accuse them of using "weasel words" when you don't know what you're talking about. Thanks —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:41, 24 January 2007 (UTC).

The idea that scarcity doesn't really exist is truly a decadent one. If there isn't enough food... you will die. And people die all the time of scarcity. Not enough water, not enough shelter, not enough medicine. The "Criticisms section is ridiculous. Gingermint (talk) 02:33, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

The argument that seems to be given to support 'criticism' of scarcity is not logical. Even if the vast majority of people have finite, very small resource wants, all that is required to create scarcity is for one person (for the sake of argument, myself) to have wants that require more than the total remaining resources to supply. Is it considered original research to dismiss the clearly flawed 'criticism' argument? (talk) 19:12, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

It's June 2010, I stumbled upon this article, and I must affirm that the "criticism" section is utter nonsense. At best, it's confusing the notion of "infinite wants" with the reality of limited resources. As others have said, the criticism stemming from this confusion is illogical. Whether in biology, or economics, organisms compete and cooperate for limited resources. The scarcity (limited amount) of resources is fundamental to analyzing strategic interaction, whether it be single-celled organisms or people. Ideological views on wants versus needs are irrelevant to this use of the term in biology, economics, and related disciplines. Bringing in Webster's definition further confuses the use of the term "scarcity" in economics. It would be similarly incorrect for me to criticize use of the term "payoff" in game theory after citing its definition in Webster's.

I'm deleting the criticism section. I normally try to leave more significant edits to real editors when I am browsing wikipedia, but in this case it looks really bad, and from the above, it seems like just about everyone knows it shouldn't be here. -- (talk) 09:54, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Recent attempted addtion to article[edit]

This appears to be a short (10 KB, 1489 word) copyrighted essay entitled "The Misconception of Scarcity" by Shmuel (Sam) Vaknin, Ph.D., which (talk) attempted to add to the article in this edit. Let us discuss what (if anything) from that essay can help this article.   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 01:51, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

That essay is pseudoeconomic silliness. One example: "It is truer to assume, for practical purposes, that most natural resources - when not egregiously abused and when freely priced - are infinite rather than scarce." Anyway, if you check the other contributions connected to that ip, the user was attempting to pepper the wiki with links to that (probably his) site. -- (talk) 09:54, 10 June 2010 (UTC)


The criticisms section includes the following:

The Technocracy movement argues that North America can achieve abundance and self-sufficiency, through the application of scientific principles and technology. They suggest replacing human labor with machines and cutting the work-week to four half-days (16 hours). They propose an economy with energy accounting, instead of finance. The value of goods would be based on the energy required to produce them. Machines would run at full-load to maximize efficiency. People would receive an equal share of total energy production in the form of goods.

However, the article on Technocracy says almost nothing about these ideas. The only idea mentioned in the article is energy accounting. The rest is not in the Technocracy article. Either that article needs to be expanded to include these concepts or the paragraph above needs to be trimmed/deleted. (talk) 14:37, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Harris's Lament[edit]

The section on Harris's Lament does not include any citations for that phrase. I can find other documents on the net that use the term "Harris's Lament" to mean "All the good ones are taken," but none that cite Barney Miller as a source. Anyone want to try to find a good citation for this? Tim Pierce (talk) 12:39, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

See also items removed[edit]

An anon user removed several items from the "See also" section. I undid their edit and Rubin undid my edit with the following explanation, "no, they are only indirectly related, through other topics".

Here are some of the topics that Rubin believes are only indirectly related...

Rubin, I'm still awaiting your responses at the following articles...

--Xerographica (talk) 10:36, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

All three links above are little related to scarcity. TANSTAAFL is the closest to be being relevant to scarcity, and that one is more closely related to opportunity cost, which is not relevant to scarcity. And I'm satisfied that I've made my point on all three talk pages you mention. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:57, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
How much are you willing to bet that opportunity cost is not relevant to scarcity? Talk:Public_finance#Preference_revelation --Xerographica (talk) 11:48, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
As I pointed out on another talk page, I would not be willing to bet that you can find an objective criterion for settling such a bet. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 13:59, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
On the other talk page you said that preference revelation was not at all relevant to public finance. Here's the evidence that I supplied...
Many public finance textbooks devote considerable attention to preference revelation and other political economy issues, including voting rules and the incentives of politicians and bureaucrats, which may give rise to government failures. - Inge Kaul, Blending External and Domestic Policy Demands
Was that objective? If you had put your money where your mouth was, would you have lost the bet? --Xerographica (talk) 14:11, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I see that "preference revelation" has been repurposed. Again. What is there now, after cleaning up the links that have been added to it from topics resembling revealed preference, which is no longer closely related, should be merged into public choice theory, with preference revelation changed to a disambiguation page. But that discussion should occur on another talk page. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:48, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
You said that preference revelation is not at all relevant to public finance. Did Inge Kaul's passage prove you wrong? --Xerographica (talk) 21:37, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Artificial scarcity[edit]

I came looking for info on artificial scarcity. There's a link near the bottom... which redirects back to the same page. Brilliant work, whoever did that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

The Artificial scarcity no longer links back here. Sometimes pages are deleted or redirected, links to those pages take time to correct.Jonpatterns (talk) 17:17, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Price signals relative scarcity?[edit]

Right now the end of the lead says, without citation,

Simply put, the price of a good signals the relative scarcity of the good.

I'm deleting this, for the following reason. Suppose the price of good X is $10 per unit, and the price of good Y is $1 per ounce or $16 per pound. Which is scarce relative to the other? The price of one good relative to the other cannot answer this, because whether the relative price is above or below 1 depends on the arbitrary choice of units, which are not comparable across the goods.

Perhaps what we could say is that if preferences for all goods do not change and the number of individuals does not change, then if the price of a single good goes up over time, it must be becoming more scarce. But that's too involved to bother mentioning, at least in the lead. Loraof (talk) 16:45, 16 June 2015 (UTC)


The usage and topic of "rare" is under discussion, see talk:Rare -- (talk) 07:45, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Bomb at top of article not relevant[edit]

Removing bomb at top of Lead Section can only help. There are no "sentence fragments" here. Did this page get bombed because it seems to make a political statement? Cormagh (talk) 01:15, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

Air is not scarce at all.[edit]

This line, "For example, although air is more important to us than gold, it is less scarce simply because the production cost of air is zero." Should be edited to say, "For example, although air is more important to us than gold, it does not have scarcity because the production cost of air is zero."