Linking activities.

Posted: January 25, 2011 in Social Studies 10

The Inn activity and the Sugar activity introduced the class to some economic concepts that we had previously heard of, though were unable to truly grasp the idea.  For the Inn activity, by placing the students in charge of their own basic economic plans and advertising campaigns, we were able to really gain a basic understanding of how corporations manage.  In the Sugar activity, we were taught the importance of specific markets, and how they’re all interwoven.

In the Inn activity and the Sugar activity we began to see the importance of markets.  In the Sugar activity, each scenario featured the effects of the sugar industry on specific markets, ranging from illegal immigrants to marijuana farmers.  We saw that everything is was related and that markets played a huge role in the economy.  A slightly less obvious use of markets was in the Inn activity.  In the Inn activity, in order to sell any rooms you would need to know your market.  Then, upon knowing your market, you would need to cleverly craft an advertisement based on what you think that specific demographic would be more receptive to.  In real life, businesses always try to understand their market and adjust in an attempt to maximize profits.

Another  economic concept that we developed further understanding of was competition.  Competition was very evident in the Inn activity, and was alluded to in the Sugar activity.  In the Sugar activity, competition was talked about in several of the cards.  Two of which were the cards about the migrant workers and the marijuana farmers.  In the case of the migrant workers, they were traveling to the United States because the competition wasn’t as challenging, as they could work for low wages and there were many jobs.  In the latter,  the farmers switched crops because marijuana was able to produce greater profits than sugar.  This was because of competition resulting in lower sugar demand and higher marijuana demand.  The Inn activity was designed to show us competition to a great degree.  Each company had to create a meal plan that would be desirable enough that people would be willing to pay the price for it.  At this point, the companies would create advertisement to sway public tastes towards them.  The company that was most successful at competing against the others would emerge victorious with great profits.

The final concept was self-interest.  Self-interest is one of the defining traits of all economics.  It drives supply & demand, incentives, and trades.  Self-interest is kept afloat by humanities eternal greed.  Self-interest was evident in the Inn activity for both the producers and the consumers.  In the case of the consumers, they were attempting to find the best quality for the lowest price possible.  Whereas for the producers, they were trying to sell their product to the consumers for the cheapest possible price.  In the Sugar activity, self-interest was seen in every single card.  Generally, each nation was attempting to make the maximum amount of money through their sugar industry as possible, while on the smaller scale, each worker for the sugar industry was trying to earn the most money for their labor.  Self-interest is seen all around us, and I can see it in myself nearly every time I buy something.

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