Microeconomics in my own dining table
There are many examples of the microeconomic concepts in our daily lives. In fact, when one wakes up in the morning to the time one goes to bed in the evening microeconomics is evident. These concepts are overlooked very often because of their triviality; however, their being trivial does not mean that they are not necessary concepts needed to explain the economic loop in daily life. Without economics the world would ultimately come to a halt and it is the various concepts of microeconomics that form the basis of economics in general; all other economic concepts revolve around microeconomics and exist because of microeconomics.
The basic microeconomic concepts of supply, demand, and market are all evident in my simple daily routine involving the dinner table. The concept of supply is initially evident when I walk down in the morning and ask my mother what’s for breakfast. In cases when my mother is not able to cook any breakfast, I go to the refrigerator and open it to see what things inside it may be eaten for the meal.
Whatever mom cooks for breakfast is dependent on whatever is available to cook and is therefore dependent on the supply of food available. If
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So, when I do find something in the refrigerator and take it as breakfast I am taking that item out because I want it – this again is guided by the concept of supply; that I initially went to see what is available and was influenced by my need at the moment to select what to acquire from whatever is available. The plates on the table in any of our meals are also all dependent on the concept of supply. The mere fact that the plates are glass plates simply indicate that we are not using plastic or paper plates because glass plates are preferred and are in supply.
On the other hand, when glass plates are not available, then we are most likely to use other kinds of plates even when we prefer to use glass plates. The lack or absence of a supply means that actions will have to adjust to whatever is available. Hence, if I was approaching the refrigerator hoping to find a full carton of orange juice for breakfast but did not find any, I will look for whatever is in supply that would address the same need of wanting to drink something, so, I would quite likely take out a carton of milk.
When there is no supply of something that is a staple or is utilized often then the demand for that prime commodity increases because the supply needs to be met. Supply, therefore, is dependent on demand and vice versa. This brings me to the second microeconomic concept present in my dinner table – demand. We are mostly omnivores in the family and we always have an equal amount of meat, vegetables, and fruits in every meal, but the situation changes dramatically if, hypothetically, we were all vegetarians.
This means that every time we prepare a meal, we would need only vegetables, and so the demand for vegetables over meat increases considerably. In responding to this demand, my mother would most likely buy more fruits and vegetables and other alternative protein sources other than meat to keep the supply of vegetarian food responsive. On a more specific level, now, in our case as omnivores, three out of four of us in the family all want to have tenderloin steaks over T-bone steaks because we find that the presence of the bone in T-bone steaks makes it tougher compared to tenderloins.
As a result, there is a greater demand for tenderloins on our dining table as compared to T-bone steaks; therefore, when my mother goes to buy meat for the family she considers the demand for tenderloin steaks and purchases more of this as compared to T-bone steaks. In addition, we all drink sugar-free soda, so in our dinner tables, there is no demand for regular soda and so logically, there is no supply for it in the household as well. The combination of this supply and demand relationship in our dining table again leads to the third microeconomic concept which is the market.
Our attitude towards the market is based wholly on the supply and demand concepts that exist within the household. Mainly, the market is there to replenish the depleting supply in the household, but purchasing attitudes are again based on whatever is in demand in the household and whatever is in or out of supply. So, for instance, if the supply for tenderloin steaks is running low in our refrigerator, my mother would go to the grocery store to purchase more tenderloin steaks. The market she goes to is still guided by the supply and demand concepts.
Eventually, because she already knows that there is such a high demand for tenderloin steaks and sugar free soda in the family, she then singles out the one market from many markets in the county to find which of these markets sell the cheapest tenderloin steaks and the cheapest sugar free soda, so that when the supply for these items run low, she is able to go to the particular store that gives the best deal and replenish her supply while at the same time minding her financial integrity.
In connection with the market, it has to be understood also that in our own dining table, the satisfaction of demand and the replenishment of supply is dependent on the purchasing power of the breadwinner. If mom does not have enough money to respond to the demands of the dining attitudes of the family, then two things could happen – one, she could find an alternative item from the market and purchase it to respond to the demand, albeit alternatively.
If my mom’s purchasing power is great, then there is a possibility that she might go to the market and purchase a lot of what is in demand – if the demand wavers for some reason after purchase, then there is a risk of surplus in supply, but if for instance, we have a new baby in the family and he too loves to eat tenderloin steak, then there is an increase in demand and if my mother does not purchase an increased supply from the market, then a shortage in the supply of tenderloin steaks in the household could occur. I guess my mother will have to adjust her purchases pretty soon!