… is from page 4 of the late, great UCLA economists Armen A. Alchian’s and William R. Allen’s Universal Economics (2018; Jerry L. Jordan, ed.); this volume is an updated version of Alchian’s and Allen’s magnificent and pioneering earlier textbook, University Economics:
Two apparent devils restrict what you can have – the limited amounts of goods and services available, and the rest of us who also want them. It is important to understand that scarcity does not exist because society produces the “wrong” things (e.g., beer, pop-jazz, TV games) instead of the “right” things (e.g., museums, symphony orchestras, art). Scarcity exists because of our boundless desires for limited goods of all kinds and types.