I wrote a post some time ago titled: 30 Basic Points on Economics.
Point #2 was:
“Plenty of things are not traditional “economic goods.” Love, ideas, and this article are three examples.”
The very essence of economics is the idea of an “economic good.”
An economic good is just something that is of limited availability, relative to how much people want it.
It is something that is defined by scarcity.
Most things fit the idea of an economic good.
Cars, food, watches, pants, and peanuts, for example.
While “economic goods” are characterized by scarcity, “non-economic” goods do not suffer from it.
A great example of a non-economic good is love.
For instance, one can be filled with all the love that they are capable of, and at the same time, this love is not diminished when more people are loved.
After one loves their parents, grandparents, and siblings – they are not out of love to give to their spouse and children.
This article might be another example of a non-economic good.
As many people that want to can read it, re-read it, and share it – and it is in no way diminished.
This is obviously different than years ago when newspapers and magazines only printed a certain number of copies.
Air to breathe is another economic good. (Quality qualifications aside.)
The best way to tell if something is an economic good, or a non-economic good, I think, is to see if it has a price.
Economic goods are generally distributed by prices, or rationing.
And non-economic goods can generally be had for free.