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Write down five things you spend money on. Then think about each item and decide if it is a need or a want. Examples are given for you.

Need? Description Want?
ü bread and eggs for breakfast  
  eggs to bake cookies ü
ü transportation to work  




Task 6

Read the text and be ready to do the exercises:

Every society must determine what commodities shall be produced, how these goods should be made, and for whom they will be produced.


As a science, economics must first develop an understanding of the processes by which human desires are fulfilled. Second, economics must show how causes that affect production and consumption lead to various results. Furthermore, it must draw conclusions that will serve to guide those who conduct and, in part, control economics.


What commodities are to be produced and in what quantities? How much of each of the many possible goods and services should the economy make? Should we produce pizzas or shirts today? A few high-quality shirts or many cheap shirts? Should we produce many consumption goods or few consumption goods and many investment goods? How shall goods be produced? By whom and with what resources and in what technological manner are they to be produced? For whom shall goods be produced? Who is to enjoy and get the benefit of the nation's goods and services?

The Law of Scarcity

Why are we concerned with the fundamental questions of what, how and for whom? These problems arise because people want to consume far more than an economy can produce.

Needs and Wants

We all recognize that people sometimes want things that they do not need. They sometimes want things that they should not be permitted to have. By contrast with "wants," "needs" suggest a degree of urgency. By contrast with needs, mere wants ("mere" is often used) are things that are optional or trivial or inessential.

It is hard to draw the line precisely between wants and needs. There might be a biological minimum rooted in human nature, but there is a second minimum that varies to a significant extent with culture. In some cultures, it is almost impossible to receive respect if one does not wear a shirt or one cannot read. In other cultures (especially at other, earlier times) one could get by without a shirt (at least in warm weather) and inability to read was not noticed since nobody could.

Human Interests

Individual human interests are in some ways constant, in some ways variable. Healthy people have a smaller interest in medical care than those who are chronically ill. Stronger people have a smaller interest in assistance in moving furniture than weaker people. Those with greater knowledge can solve problems and relate new facts to preexisting information better than those with less.

Unhealthy Human "Interests"

Most people will agree that there is a difference between what one can take a healthy interest in, and what one could call a perverse or unhealthy interest. It is clear that not everyone will agree where we should draw the line, but most people will want to draw the line somewhere. Unhealthy preferences correspond pretty closely to what is known as moral vice, bad habits associated with inappropriate desires and, in most if not all cases, associated with an inability to respect one's fellow human beings as persons.


When a desire or wish is effective in moving us to action, it is possible to say that we are motivated by it. To say that a person is motivated by revenge is to say that he desires to injure another person or social group whom he perceives as having injured him or persons or groups with whom he identifies. Motive appears to be little more than a renaming of desire or wish in those cases in which desire or wish is effective in moving us to act.

Unlimited wants

By comparison with the poor nations or early civilizations, advanced industrial economics seem very wealthy indeed. But higher incomes bring in their train higher consumption standards and ever higher ‘needs’. An investigation of consumption patterns would find that people want and need central heating and cooling, movies and compact disks, autos and personal computers, concerts and recreation, leisure time and privacy, clean air and pure water, safe factories and clean streets, and innumerable other goods and services . The law of scarcity states that goods are scarce because there are not enough resources to produce all the goods that people want to consume. Faced with this undeniable truth - that goods are scarce relative to wants - economics describes and analyzes how different societies cope with limited resources - choosing different bundles of goods (the what), selecting among different techniques of production (the how), and deciding in the end who should consume the goods (the for whom).

Task 7

Give the Russian equivalents to the following:

basic understanding; to draw conclusions; technological manner; a degree of urgency;moral vice;significant extent; to receive respect; to solve problems; preexisting information; to amass resources in one’s hands


Task 8

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 583

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