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Goods and Services

Goods--items that can be seen and touched.

    Examples:  CD, video game, computer, bread, shoes, clothes.

Services--useful work that cannot be touched or seen.  Work that provides an activity desired by the person but does not produce an item that can be held in your hand.

    Examples:  baby sitting, teaching, bus driver, barber

All goods and services must be made or produced.  The value depends on the desire and needs of the people who purchase them.  The people who make the goods and provide the service are called producers and the people who use the goods and services are called consumers.

Some goods and services are needed by everyone and the government provides these.  The United States is called a mixed economy because some of the goods and services are provided through private business and some of them are provided by the government.  Federal, state, and local governments have a role in the production of goods and services.  Public education, road maintenance. police, fire, and national defense are all public services supplied by government.  Private business supplies parts of each of these services such as textbooks or asphalt but the activity is for a public use.  So private businesses often supply goods and services that are used to meet public needs.

This page last updated on 06/25/00.

Dr. Cynthia Sparks is the Supervisor of Social Studies for Chesapeake Public Schools.  She is also an Adjunct Faculty member for the University of Virginia, Troy State University, and Old Dominion University.