When we walk into a major supermarket, some of us expect to fill our trolleys with nutritious food for the week ahead, but nowadays what we’re presented with is a plethora of products. Disregarding perhaps the periphery of the supermarket where the organic fruits and vegetables are, we’re presented with shelves upon shelves of pre-packaged products that no longer resemble food at all. There are aluminium cans of soft drink, fruit juice boxes that have undergone aseptic processing, foil chip packets filled with oxygen, and in the meat aisle we have identical cuts of bacon in vacuum-sealed plastic. Everything has been processed, packaged and with the help of marketing, made to look enticing and palatable. Sadly, a tomato is no longer a tomato – the marriage of economics, science and technology carries it from seed to plate in the most economically efficient manner. Many ‘food products’ today are mass-produced by large multinational corporations who prioritise efficiency, profits and turnover over the health of arguably their most important asset, their consumers.
Prior to 1978 in China, communal farmland was assigned to individuals to work for the government. Farmers gave anything that they produced from their land to the government, which then distributed the crops out to the people. Agricultural land was less productive in 1978 than it had been in 1949, when the communists took over. This was because the farmers did not have any incentive to produce more than the minimum; any extra work would result in the same food rations from the government.
Okay, so as you are reading this, you may or may not have been sold on ESSA’s mission and vision to show how economics helps you in the industry. During this article, I would like to cement the view that economics helps in the workforce.
During the summer, I joined Deloitte for my internship, in Consulting (Strategy and Operations). This was a great experience and really helped to put to use the theories and skills we learn at university. During my project, there was a lot of economics, finance and accounting. However, economics really made it easier to decipher and get through the relevant tasks throughout the project.
After passing through both Houses of Parliament, Australia will officially have an emissions trading scheme on July 1st 2012, which will take the form of a carbon tax for its first three years before moving to a flexible price carbon trading market in 2015.
By Collin Li
When an economic debate descends into something along the lines of “the economy exists in order to benefit the people – not the other way around,” you should reply:
But what is an economy other than many millions of people interacting daily?
Let’s not understate the reach and application of economics – it infects every facet of society.
(By definition in economics, individuals in a marketplace trade according to their “utility” – a term used to capture the personal values of each individual, thus allowing the individuals to maximise their well-being in the marketplace.)