2006

Writing Contest: Semifinalist

The Brady Bunch

Victoria Schroer, Brunswick High School, Brunswick, OH (Teacher: Michelle Flanigan)

Economics is present almost everywhere in life. It appears in music, television, movies, and even books. We are surrounded by it. In an episode of The Brady Bunch, economics was the underlying factor. The Brady Bunch is a mixed family of a husband and wife, both previously married, who each brought three kids to the marriage. The family members take time to adjust to one another, and they eventually do. One specific episode aired in the first season, when the show was still fairly new. In this episode, the family is having a hard time sharing the phone. The father is an architect and needs the phone for business calls, but with six kids and only one phone line, trouble is bound to happen. The kids are always on the phone when the father is expecting a call. In this basic example of supply and demand, the demand for the phone is high and the supply is very low. This causes a major problem. The Brady family decides to invest in a second phone line. This seems to be working out very nicely. The kids can talk all they want and Mr. Brady the father can still run his business and make all his calls. Then they get the phone bill, which is so high they drop the second line. This is the idea that a person’s income determines what they can buy. Mr. Brady could not afford a second line, so he had to come up with other options. Then one day, while the kids were at school, he bought a pay phone to install at his house. This was a great idea because now the kids had to pay per minute. The kids were angry at first but began to understand. They had to use their allowance to make calls, so they began making their phone calls short and straightforward. This solved the problem. It kept the kids off the phone because they did not have extra income to spend on daily phone calls. This, in turn, kept the line open for Mr. Brady. This episode dealt with many economic issues, including supply and demand, and spending according to your income. This episode teaches so many great things about real life and economics. Economics surrounds you every day and affects many decisions you have to make during the day. Economics is the underlying factor of society and the way it works.

Source

Paramount Pictures DVD of the first complete season of The Brady Bunch. Copyright 2005. Hollywood, California.