Does the fact that something is abundant mean it is not scarce in the economic sense? Why or why not?

Whether something is abundant or scare often depends upon circumstance. In America, before COVID-19, we could have said there was an abundance of toilet paper. When COVID-19 hit, toilet paper turned into a scarcity. Here we see how unforeseen crises, more than economics, influences what's abundance and what's scare. We see how economics can turn an abundance into scarcity when in Flint, Michigan, emergency managers tried to save money by changing how its residents received their water.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Overall abundance does not mean that scarcity does not exist in certain markets or for certain people. This is because many factors can make an abundant resource scarce for some. Temporary crises (like the current COVID-19 pandemic, or hurricanes) illustrate how abundant goods can quickly become scarce, but this is a slightly different issue. Even within a nation-state, an abundance of a resource may exist throughout most of society, even though others find it inaccessible.

High-speed internet access, for example, is widespread and abundant throughout much of the United States. However, in some impoverished and rural areas, internet access is quite scarce. In rural areas, this is because of the difficulties in establishing the infrastructure needed to facilitate internet access.

Additionally, fresh vegetables and other foods that are in abundance throughout most of the United States are highly scarce in many inner-city "food deserts" where few retailers exist that are eager to sell them....

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 875 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on