2006

Writing Contest: Semifinalist

The Bachelor

Brooke Mott, Columbia High School, Columbia Station, OH (Teacher: John Sheridan)

Supply and demand is the interaction of buyers and sellers in a complete market. The supply is the amount of goods in store for the consumers, and the demand is the want or need for the products in store. The relationship of supply to demand is ever changing--keeping the market working. The supply and demand system works like a toy store. The supply in this case would be a toy in the store. The demand would come from the children who wish to purchase the toy. The system works by the popularity of the toy and the desire the children have for it. If there is a low supply of the toy and the demand for the toy is high among the children, the store owner could inflate the price to achieve the maximum profit. The consumers are willing to pay more to own the product. If there is a high supply of the toy and a low demand, the store owner could lower the price, so it is more likely the consumer will buy it. In the case that the supply and demand are equal, the price will neither inflate nor decrease, but will be in equilibrium. Supply and demand are affected by many other economic concepts such as incentive and scarcity. Incentive is a factor that encourages a person to do something. The incentive may be a reward to the consumer. Incentives may be offered to the consumer buying a new car. The dealer would encourage the consumer to buy the car by offering a cash-back rebate. The consumer is more likely to buy the car if they will receive something in return, in this example, money back. Scarcity is the lack of resources to satisfy would-be consumers. If there were only 1,000 computers made by the manufacturer and there were 10,000 customers, there would be a scarcity of computers. The consumers would have to compete for the computers and the manufacturer would drive the price up. This constant movement of supply versus demand keeps the economy flowing. In the TV series, The Bachelor, a single man is confronted with 25 women to choose a companion from. He is introduced to these women at a party, and by the end of the event, he must eliminate 10. He does this by giving the women he wants to stay a single red rose. At the end of the ceremony, the women without a rose return home. Each week, the Bachelor spends time with all the women and is able to choose some one-on-one dates with those who appeal to him the most. At the end of the week, there is another rose ceremony, and five more women are sent home, leaving 10. The following week the field is narrowed to six, and the next week to four. Now that there are four women left, each woman takes the Bachelor home to meet her family. At this point, the Bachelor talks to the parents and siblings of the woman, hearing their take on the situation. This enables him to get a clearer picture of the woman's lifestyle and family, and their expectations. After returning to the place where everyone is staying, the Bachelor selects three women to stay, sending one home. The next step in this process is a one-on-one date with each woman. This again gives the Bachelor time to spend with each woman and probe deeper into her personality and ideas of life. Again, there is a rose ceremony, and only two women stay. Finally, the Bachelor takes these two women home to meet his parents for their opinion. This brings both women into his personal life and he is able to judge if they fit in with his perspective. The final step is for the Bachelor to choose one woman to possibly marry. It should be pointed out that this series of programs has only produced one successful marriage for a Bachelorette and her choice. This TV series can be compared to the market of supply and demand. In the beginning, with 25 women, the Bachelor has a large supply to choose from. The women are not as intense in their pursuit, as they wish to make a positive impression on the Bachelor. All are hoping for a rose, but are not emotionally involved the first night, having just met the gentleman. After the first round, the field narrows to 15 and there is a little more competition to earn one-onone time with the Bachelor. There is more demand for his attention, and each woman struggles to gain a little valuable time. A second rose ceremony eliminates five, narrowing the supply to 10 women, each desiring more time with the Bachelor. As the number of women diminishes, the demand for alone time with the Bachelor increases. There is only one Bachelor and 10 women. The situation intensifies and the women become more insistent. The next rose ceremony cuts the number to six women, who become more intense. Each woman is trying to put on the best front and expose the Bachelor to how she really feels. As time goes on, the supply diminishes and the demand increases. This raises the incentive for the women to spend as much time as possible with the Bachelor. As the supply of women becomes less, and the alone time increases, the atmosphere becomes more intense. The more emotionally involved the women get, the more demands they try to place on the Bachelor. The cost of the stakes rises as the number of women decreases. The laws of supply and demand can be shown through TV shows such as The Bachelor. This can give one an example of economic ideas in every day life. The supply and demand fluctuation is seen in many aspects of our economy outside the competitive marketplace. Sources ABC Television Station Monday nights at 9:00 for Bachelor series Economics: Today and Tomorrow. Glencoe/McGraw-Hill The Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics