Remember, relate your responses based on the supply and demand materials we’ve covered. Patients in need of an organ transplant, such as a kidney, are typically placed on a waiting list and have to wait months or even years to receive it. Often, the patient cannot wait this long but there is nothing they can do as they buying and selling of organs is illegal. Should someone be able to sell one of their kidneys if they choose to? Should those in need of a kidney one be able to purchase one? What would be the pros and cons to each choice and how does this apply to consumer and producer surplus? We are all affected by externalities. Environmentalists would love to see any type of pollution banned completely. Do you agree with them? Or do you side with most economists, who argue that some pollution is better for society than none at all.

To take this one step further, Phil Knight, as well as many others, has major production/manufacturing facilities located in some of the poorest regions of the world. Have you ever bought a NIKE article? Would you again and what do you say to those who disagree with you? In many countries bribery is actually an accepted, understood, and expected way of doing business. To this end, you own a company and you’re in, of course, a competitive market. What is the relationship between corruption in a country (i.e., bribe-taking by yourself, government officials) and the economic growth of your company? Do you take the bribes? Is corruption always bad? In this week’s materials, there are highlights that emerge. Monopolistic competition is characterized by many producers not fixated on price but rather on the products, attempting to differentiate them from those sold by their rivals. Companies that participate in this kind of market use most of their resources crafting their products so that they are unique and appealing to the consumers.

In this endeavor, advertising is fundamental in informing the consumers of the unique qualities their products possess over those of their competitors. In a monopoly, however, the producer does not face any competition and focuses on maximizing profits. This means that the producer can quote the price he feels like as well as the quantity he produces. U.S. colleges and universities can be seen as “firms” in a monopolistically competitive industry. Each produces a similar product (education), but the products are not identical. A college can raise price (tuition) without losing all of its students. The product differs by location (students tend to attend colleges relatively close to home), extent of services (prestige, good sports teams, partying, contacts), quality, and image (Harvard’s image differs from UCLA’s). As “firms”, are U.S. Post for example, monopolistically competitive or a monopoly? How about compared to Yale? If you were President of Post University, how would you “increase sales”? It’s easy to think we can see wage discriminations. I believe we’ve all seen a lot of prejudice, in many areas, and probably felt a good deal in some discussion forums with past courses.

It mighthave been totally based on money. We’ve seen advantaged people dissed, and disadvantaged people dissed even more. If you’re advantaged, does the fact that someone else isn’t or may even be poor, affect or shape your thoughts about them? If you’re not advantaged (wealthy), does the fact that someone else is, affect or shape your thoughts about them? Does it steer your conversational thoughts? And because you’re on-line, your computer screen is not unlike a mask. You can actually be whomever, and whatever, you’d like to be. You’re he only one who knows what you’re really like in this course. Do you expect the advantaged to be boring and fake… – the less advantaged to be boring and fake, but not always? Is it easier to believe that someone less advantaged could actually be “pretty cool”? The problem is that the stereotypes in our brains aren’t easy to ignore and you may have judged a lot of people unfairly.

For this discussion, you’re a corporate manager. So be honest; does your perception of others affect your thoughts, inputs and actions? Maybe your pay is based on the ability to keep employee costs low. How do you decide who gets what? And try to make the correlation with this week’s materials. Income inequality and poverty affect us in many ways we may not think about. Gregory W. is a homeless man in Louisiana who was arrested for stealing food from a grocery store. 339 in fines and fees and was jailed. His charges were later changed to community service because he could not pay the fines. But when he could not pay the bus fare to complete his community service, he went back to jail. What would be a fair way to hold this man accountable for his theft? When you think about alternative sentencing and what other factors do you think have to be taken into account? What alternative approaches can you imagine that would be more equitable, especially considering the fact that you actually paid for this man’s extended stay?

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