YOUR WORKER ROLE SUPPORTSYOUR CONSUMER ROLENow that you have considered some of the ways your decisions as s consumer help makethe free enterprise system work it would be good to see how your role as a worker fits intothe picture. No matter what price is set on products and services in the marketplace, youcannot enjoy them unless you have the money to buy them .Most people earn their moneyby working. Of course, people work for many reasons. But probably the main reason youwill work is to get money to buy things you need and want. While your parents may besupplying most of your needs and wants now , before long you will begin thinking aboutwhat you will do for a living. When you begin your worker role, you will join over 100 millionother workers in the United States. These workers produce the goods and services theconsumers demand. One of the reasons this country has progressed so far in such a shorttime is that it has a varied and skilled work force. In Part 2, you learned that in this countryyou are free to choose any occupation you wish. Deciding what kind of work you will do isone of the most important economic decisions you will have to make. Usually your workdetermines your level of income, and income usually determines how many wants andneeds you can satisfy. Your worker role and your consumer role, as you can see, worktogether.YOUR ROLE AS A CITIZENThere are some needs and wants that you will not be able to obtain for yourself. Some ofthem you will gain through your role as an economic citizen. For example, you probably willnot earn enough money to have your own fire department to protect your home. Or, youprobably will not make enough to build your own highways on which to drive your car, Inaddition to these, there are many other things, such as schools, courts, and policeprotection, that neither individuals nor businesses can usually provide. In your role as aneconomic citizen you will join with others and pay taxes so that government can providethese goods and services. You will also help decide which goods and services thegovernment will furnish. When Joan Tollino voted for the bond issue which would give hercity permission to borrow money to build a new school, she helped the city decide which ofthe many needed goods and services would be provided. In voting on economic issues asJoan did, you will be fulfilling a part of your economic citizenship role.THE IMPORTANCE OFYOUR ECONOMIC DECISIONSThe decisions you make in your three economic roles are important to you and the way youwill live. In your consumer role, for example, if you are wise in the way you cast your dollarvotes, you will be able to enjoy more and better quality goods and services. To prepare foryour worker role, you need to study a variety of jobs so that you can choose a career thatwill suit your needs and interests. If you choose the right career, you will probably be a
more productive worker, which will benefit both you and the economy. And in youreconomic citizenship role, you should remember that the government cannot supply all thatthe people want. It, too, must make choices as to which goods and services it can afford toprovide. By voting you will be helping to make some of those decisions.The following terms should become part of your business vocabulary. For each numberedstatement, find the term that has the same meaning.INCREASING YOUR BUSINESS VOCABULARY: demand marketplace dollar or economic vote supply market economy 1. Expressing approval of a product by buying it. 2. The amount of a product or service that consumers are willing and able to buy. 3. The amount of a product or service that businesses are willing and able to provide at a particular price. 4. Any place where buyers and sellers exchange goods, services, and money. 5. A term used to describe the freedom of buyers and sellers to make economic decisions in our free enterprise system.UNDERSTANDING YOUR READING: 1. You learned in this part that most people play the same three economic roles in life. What are the roles? 2. Give an example of the way dollar votes help create demand. 3. Give an example of the way demand can affect prices. 4. Suppliers usually set their prices to cover what two things? 5. If a business has an oversupply of a product, would it be likely to raise or lower the price of the product? 6. Would prices of a product made with scarce natural resources tend to be high or low? 7. Give an example to show how competition affects prices. 8. In what way might your selection of a career affect your future standard of living? 9. Give two examples of activities you perform in your economic citizenship role.USING YOUR BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE: 1. If you buy a set of encyclopedias in your own home from a salesperson who calls, are you trading in the marketplace? Explain. 2. When the demand for small cars increases, what might the suppliers of large cars do to sell cars?
3. Give two examples of products whose prices are usually high because they are made from scarce natural resources. 4. Someone has described the free enterprise system as one in which the “consumer is sovereign.” Explain the term. 5. Explain why choosing a career is one of the most important economic decisions a person makes.SOLVING PROBLEMS IN BUSINESS: 1. Margo Tate, owner of Tate’s Sport Shop, bought ten dozen pairs of ice skates at $25 per pair to sell during the Christmas season. (a) How many pairs of ice skates did Margo buy? (b) How much did it cost to buy all of the skates? 2. In December, Margo Tate still had two thirds of her supply of skates left (see problem 1). (a) How many pairs of skates were still unsold? (b) If she sold the remaining skates for $30 per pair, how much would Margo receive in sales? 3. The table on the next page shows how consumers recently spent each $100 they had after and savings: Food, beverages $ 20.70 Foreign travel .40 Religion, welfare activities 1.30 Personal care 1.40 Tobacco 1.50 Private education, research 1.50 Housing 15.30 Household operation 14.60 Transportation 13.70 Medical care 9.70 Clothing, including care 8.20 Recreation 6.60 Personal business 5.10 $100.00 (a) For what 5 Items was the most money spent? (b) What percent of each $100 is used for these 5 items combined? 4. Below is a table showing the production of gold during a recent year in the United States and in the three states where most of the gold is produced. Total U.S. Production 1 million ounces Nevada 238,000ounces South Dakota 286,000 ounces Utah 235,000 ounces (a) What was the total ounces of gold produced in the three states?
(b) What was the total amount of gold produced elsewhere in the United States during that year? (c) If the price at that time was $228 per ounce, what was the value of the gold produced in South Dakota? (d) A few years later the world demand for gold had pushed the price per ounce to $800. At that price, what was the value of the gold produced in South Dakota during the first year? 5. Below is a table showing information about the voting activity of young people in two recent national elections. Study the data and answer the questions which follow. No. of persons No. of persons Year 18-20 years reporting they voted 1976 12,100,000 4,600,000 1978 12,200,000 2,400,000 (a) How many young people did not vote in 1976? (b) In what year was the larger number of 18-to 20-year-olds eligible to vote? (c) What percent of eligible voters reported that they voted in 1976and in 1978? (Round to nearest whole percent.)EXPANDING YOUR UNDERTANDING OF BUSINESS1. If all stores in your area charged the same price for an electric hair dryer, there would be no competition among the stores on the basis of price. And if all the hair dryers were exactly the same, the customer would have no reason to choose one hair dryer over another. If these conditions were true, what other forms of competition could stores use in order to get customers to buy hair dryers from them?2. Interview the manager of a local supermarket. Ask the manager how prices are determined in the store. Find out whether there have been any items recently for which there was a surge of demand. If so, did the store have enough of the item to supply the demand? Did the price change? Ask the manager to explain also how such things as spoilage, bad checks, and theft affect prices in the store.3. Interview five seniors in your school who are or soon will be 18 years old. Find out how they feel about voting. Suggested questions: What is your age? If you are 18, have you registered to vote? Why or why not? Do you plan to register before the next election? Do you think 18 year –olds should vote? Why or why not? Report your findings to the class.4. Look through your local newspaper and clip articles dealing with economic citizenship. Try to find at least one article on taxes and one dealing with voting on an economic issue. Write a brief statement of your views on each article and your position.