Back when I was getting my Bachelor of Science in Economics, I was taught that the true cost of something wasn't just what you paid for it, but also what you could have had instead of it (the official term: opportunity cost). Another cost concept you learn in Econ is an "externality"--mostly simply defined as a side effect or consequence not reflected in the cost of the goods or services involved. Hmmm, a cost that is not a cost... oh you silly Econ people!   While the words "opportunity cost" and "externality" may make you sound smart, they are such blanket even esoteric terms that they are not that useful when trying to make practical decisions. If I asked you how much your college education cost, you'll sum up your tuition and books and give me a number. If I asked you about its opportunity cost and externalities, you'll remind me that...

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