IT IS IMPORTANT for you to read this introduction completely so you will be prepared to successfully complete all of the activities and assessments in this course. This introduction also provides valuable study suggestions and resources. As you work your way through this course, follow the directions carefully, and complete all the activities and assessments in the order in which they appear.Economics is the study of how people meet their needs and wants. It is concerned with the ways that goods and services are exchanged in a society. Surely, you can think of a time when you wanted something—a television, a car, a pair of shoes, a computer, a cell phone, an iPod, or something as simple as lunch in a restaurant. Did you ever think about where these items come from? Someone must manufacture them, and then they are distributed to consumers. The ways in which goods and services are distributed are the foundation of economics.This course will emphasize how free market economies function. In such an economy, means of production are owned by private individuals and businesses, who sell goods and services for profit. You will learn about different types of businesses, and you will see how they make goods and services available. You will also study issues that relate to businesses, including labor-management relations, government regulation, government involvement in the economy, international trade, globalization, and the impact of technology on the economy.