Exploring Rationing

1. "Such staples as milk, rice, coffee, meat, and even sugar, are rationed. So are some consumer items such as clothes and cloth. U.S. officials often cite the very existence of rationing as proof of Cuba's economic failure. In fact, the system has little to do with shortages. It was introduced in 1962, when the U.S. embargo helped create true scarcity. It exists today as a social program." ("Under Castro, The System Is Broken--But Working," Chicago Tribune, Sunday, May 18, 1986, Section 1, page 14) An economist would say that the author does not understand the difference between scarcity and shortages. Explain.

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