Thank you – No, Thank You!

GabeEconomics(ML), Mini Lessons

Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Needs to Know about Wealth and Prosperity

The importance of trade in our modern world can hardly be exaggerated. Trade makes it possible for most of us to consume a bundle of goods and services far beyond what we would be able to produce for ourselves. Can you imagine the difficulty involved in producing your own housing, clothing, and food, to say nothing of computers, television sets, dishwashers, automobiles, and telephones? People who have these things have them largely because their economies are organized in such a way that individuals can cooperate, specialize, and trade. Countries that impose obstacles to exchange—either domestic or international—reduce the ability of their citizens to achieve gains from trade and to live more prosperous lives.

  1. Why do you say thank you when you buy something? Does the seller usually say thank you as well? Why doesn’t one of you say “you’re welcome”? When you buy something, are you doing the other person a favor? Or are you both better off?
  2. If both parties in a trade are better off, then why would you stop them from trading? Does it matter if the other person is from the next town or state? Why should it be different if they’re from the next country?

This reading is an excerpt from Certell’s Common Sense Economics eBook.  Certell offers curriculum materials and eBooks free of charge for students and teachers.  Click here to download the Common Sense Economics Materials.

Image Citation:

22, Jan. 2018 We love trade [digital image].  Retrieved from <>.