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Transcript of Economics Clips
Economics ClipsGet out a blank sheet of paper and number your paper from 1 to 28, skipping a space between each line.
We will watch a series of videos and then answer questions about those videos.
The questions will be answered by the class representative with your help. The class representative will determine when to move on to the next slide.
Class rep, when you think everyone is ready, click the mouse.Seinfeld (class rep, read this!)Background: Seinfeld was a very popular sitcom that ran for nine years primarily during the 1990s. Based on the humor of Jerry Seinfeld, the show is based in Manhattan and is a slice of daily New York City life through the eyes of the core cast: Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer. One of the frequent visitors into these episodes is a neighbor of Jerrys and Kramers named Newman. Jerry has never been fond of him but Kramer and Newman are chums. Newman is a letter carrier portraying all of the negative stereotypes of postal workers. Kramer, mysteriously, seems not to actually have a job but somehow affords to live well.Seinfeld (class rep, read this!)Plot: Newman and Kramer begin a discussion about the bottle return for cash information on the label of a recently discarded soda bottle. While some states offer five cents, Newman notices that Michigan offers ten cents for bottle returns. He begins scheming about gathering containers and driving them to Michigan for the money. But Kramer stops him short declaring that he had racked his brain over this plan and could never get the costs low enough to justify the effort. The cost of the truck and gasoline ate up so much of the profit that it would be an unrewarding exercise. Despite Kramers discouragement, Newman works feverishly to prove it to himself. For a while, hes frustrated until he realizes a cost reduction he can take advantage of through his work with the postal service and the two begin gathering containers. A free truck heading to Michigan allow them to benefit from the five cent differential over New York.Seinfeld
1.Why does Kramer try to discourage Newman from carrying out the Michigan plan?2.Why arent the two considering gathering up all of the containers and returning them in New York for five cents?3.List as many costs as you can think of involved in Newmans Michigan scheme.4.Which cost seems to be the biggest obstacle to succeeding in this proposal?5.As they are driving to Michigan, how much do they claim their profit will be?6.Would you invest all of this effort for the profit they claim will result? What does this say about the value of these two characters time?The Office (class rep, read this!)Background: The Office is an American comedy television series. The series depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.The Office (class rep, read this!)Plot: Dwight researches for weeks in advance of Christmas and discovers the hot toy this season will be a Unicorn Princess doll. Taking advantage of procrastinating parents, he buys out all of the stores monopolizing the inventory with the plan of selling to desperate parents at prices well above retail. He is correct in all assumptions and sells out his supply in no time at many times the original price. Meanwhile, Toby is on the phone with his daughter who lives with his estranged wife. When she expresses her glee over the doll, he sees this as an opportunity to make his ex-wife look bad and is happy to pay the $200 asking price. But he arrives as Daryl is buying the last one. Toby is distraught, but Daryl has sympathy and is willing to sell his for $400. When he sees the doll hes purchased, it turns out better than he had hoped for.The Office Christmas
7.Why are roses more expensive on February 14th then just about any other day in the year?8.Would the buyers in this clip have been willing to pay $200 for the doll three weeks earlier?9.What advantages did Dwight have in establishing the market for Princess Unicorn?10.How do deadlines relate to individuals willingness to purchase an item at specified prices?11.Why was Toby willing to pay twice as much for the doll?12.Why do retailers discount the price of Christmas cards on December 26th?The Simpsons (class rep, read this!)Background: The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom. It is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition.The Simpsons (class rep, read this!)Plot: Homer and the family are dining at a steak restaurant. Homer is dissatisfied with the largest steak on the menu and wants to know if they serve something larger than 72 ounces. The waiter discloses that they do have a special steak of enormous proportions but only two men have ever successfully completed it. Homer requests it despite a warning from a trucker, one who had accomplished the feat. He ends up challenging a defiant Homer to a gorge-off and the competition begins. The piece of meat is sixteen pounds and Homer cant understand why he runs out of desire after four pounds. The trucker completes his steak but not without consequences.The Simpsons
13.What does the clip indicate are Homers motivations for wanting the biggest steak he can find and then accepting the truckers challenge to a contest?14.What happens to Homers desire to eat steak as he proceeds through the first part of the sixteen pound meal?15.Why does the doctor indicate that hes had a change of opinion when it comes to consuming large amounts of red meat?The Terminal (class rep, read this!)Plot: Viktor Navorski, a man from an Eastern European country, arrives in New York. However, after he left his country war broke out. Suddenly Navorski is a man without a country - or one that the U.S. cannot recognize, thus he is denied entrance to the U.S. However, he also can't be deported so he is told by the Security Manager that he has to remain in the airport until his status can be fixed.The Terminal (class rep, read this!)Scene: Navorski discovers that the luggage cart machine offers a 25 cent reward for all returns and that he seems to be one of the few people in the airport interested in responding.The Terminal
16.Why does the luggage machine offer a 25 cent return reward?17.Why would so many luggage carts be left unattended throughout the terminal?18.Why was Navorski diligently gathering up and returning the luggage carts?19.Of all the people in the airport at anytime, why would he be the most likely to take advantage of this reward system?Fun Theory
20.What is something you SHOULD do every time, but dont do because it isnt fun?Paper Moon (class rep, read this!)During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership.Paper Moon (class rep, read this!)Plot: In the movie "Paper Moon" a salesman and his daughter run a scam where they visit homes where someone has recently died and claim that the deceased had ordered an engraved Bible, and they are delivering it. They act surprised and express false sorrow upon learning that the victim has died. They seek to collect payment for the overpriced book and tell the family that the deceased has already paid a $1 deposit that they will be happy to return it if the Bible is no longer needed. The salesman uses a fixed price approach (same price to everyone) of $8 (a lot of money at the time). When the salesmans daughter joins in on the scam, she blurts out different prices based on what she sees less for poor families and more for rich people.Paper Moon
21.What step does the salesman take in preparing for his sales calls that improves the odds of him completing the transaction?22.Why are his prospective customers less likely to refuse his offer?23.What is his pricing strategy for all of the customers he approaches? 24.What price does he believe is the limit the market will bear?25.What added advantage does the little girl have in closing the deal?26.What is her pricing system for each customer approached?27.What does she do in preparation of stating the asking price for the Bibles?28.Can you think of any business that charges different people different prices for the same item or service?