Questions 18 through 22.
Listen to a conversation between a student and a professor.
W: Dr. Marshall?
M: Hello, Gloria. Is it… uh . . you wanted to talk about your research?
W: Yes. Is this a good time?
M: Sure, sure. How’s it coming along? You’re studying goose populations, right?
W: That’s right. Well, I was anyway. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I think 1 want to go in a different direction.
W: You see … it’s like this. I’ve done a lot of Internet searches, and I’ve, uh, come up with some articles about geese, mostly about problems in urban areas, like city parks. But there was this one story that kind of got me off in a different direction. I found out about this accident that happened in Alaska when some geese got sucked into an airplane
M: Really? When did that happen?
W: About six years ago. It was a pretty bad accident, too. It was a military jet, and several geese were sucked into two of the engines right after takeoff. The jet crashed, and the whole crew was killed.
M: Birds and planes don’t mix that’s for sure.
Wf: For sure. Well, anyway this article got me thinking about birds and plane accidents, so 1 started … uh … researching that, and I found out it’s a pretty serious problem around airports.
M: Hmm. I can see why.
Wr: It’s a big problem especially if the airport is surrounded by bird habitat, like wheat fields or wetlands. It’s a big problem that I never knew about before. And then I learned about this program that uses biology to solve the problem.
M: Oh? How so?
W: Well, the air force figured out that the right kind of bird can keep the wrong kind of bird away, so they started using peregrine falcons to patrol the runways. This one air force base used to shoot the birds that were always hanging around the runway. Mostly it was geese and ducks, because it’s near a wetland. But now, since they started the falcon program, and since falcons air predators, there haven’t been any bird aircraft collisions that required any repairs!
M: That’s amazing! Well, not really, when you consider the peregrine falcon’s reputation as a predator. They can exceed 200 miles per hour in a dive faster than any other living creature I imagine just the sight of these birds is enough to discourage any other birds from coming anywhere near the airfield.
W: It’s true. The falcons and their trainers patrol the runways several limes a day, during the lulls between takeoffs and landings. And after six months of falcon protection, they found that the cost of the program itself was only seven percent of the amount they’d been spending on bird-airplane damage.
- So, the benefits of this natural method of bird control are obvious.
W: Right The falcons get the credit for keeping the geese and the ducks away. It’s an interesting solution to the problem, I mean, adding a predator to change the biology of the runway.
- Well, I think your research has taken a very meaningful turn. You’re still studying problem geese, but you’ve just found an interesting angle in the way the problem’s being dealt with. Keep going with it.
W: Oh, good I’m glad you think it’s OK Thanks, Dr, Marshall. I appreciate your time.
M: All right. Good hick.
Questions 23 through 28.
Listen to part of a lecture in an economics class.
In this course, we’ll look at the basic problems every economy must face. We’ll focus on the modem industrial economy, and how it solves the problems of what, how, and for whom goods are produced. We’ll examine the market mechanism, how’ the problems of production are solved through a system of markets and prices.
The market system isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s far from perfect. but it’s one way to solve the problems of production Let me just say one thing before we go on. No human economy today is purely a market economy. What we have in most capitalist societies today is known as a mixed economy. In a mixed economy, the markets and the government share economic control over the direction of the market The government has an important role in regulating business activity. A pure market system would have no government intervention just consumers and businesses interacting through markets to determine the answer to the basic questions of economic organization.
- It’s essential to understand how a pure market system works. Basically, it works like this; consumers are kind of like voters. They use their money like votes to buy what they want. My votes compete with your votes over the goods we both want to buy. The consumers with the most dollar votes have the most influence over what gets produced and to whom goods go. In economics, the consumer is king.
The consumer is like a king or a dictator, really, if we’re talking about a pure market system. In a pure market, the consumer would dictate the type and quantity and price of the goods that get produced. Of course, it’s not exactly like that in the jeal world because real consumers don’t always have complete information about goods, and, of course, real consumers can be influenced by advertising.
- Let’s take a look at how the consumer’s money votes operate in the marketplace. What I mean is. we’ll examine the theory of the two central economic forces; supply and demand, and how they influence each other and arc eventually brought into balance by the price of the good.
First, let’s consider demand. In economics, “demand” refers to the amount of a good or service that people are ready to buy. Generally speaking, (lie quantity that people will buy depends on the price. The higher the price of a good, the less of it people will buy. The lower the price, the more they’ll buy. So you can see there’s a definite relationship between the pnee of a good and the quantity demanded. The connection between price and quantity is clear. When the price of a good is raised, consumer demand for it goes down. But when the price falls, demand increases, as more people will be willing and able lo buy it at a lower price.
- That’s demand. Now. what about supply? In economics, “supply” means how much of a good producers are willing to supply. Goods are supplied by businesses. Businesses if they’re competitive they don’t supply goods for fun. They supply gouds for profit. They’ll supply more of a good when the price is high because it’s more profitable to do so. But when the price is low, producers will choose to supply some other more profitable good instead.
I’ve just given you the briefest summary of market economics. Tomorrow we’ll look at just how supply and demand work in a real–world mixed economy, We’ll sec how the market price of a good is a function of supply and demand ,. how the price is a sort of agreement between the people who sell a good and the people who buy it.