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Philip White
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One of my biggest takeaways from the semester is that perfectly competitive markets do not really exist in the world. Before taking this class, I had a very romanticized idea of what the free market looked like and how it functioned. I believed it was a flawless system of supply and demand, producer and consumer, and perfect competition between businesses. However, during our discussions I learned very quickly that the situation is much more complex and not nearly as fair as it is made out to be. For example, the scenario of opening up a coffee shop in Lexington resonated with me. I had never thought about how existing businesses often promote barriers to entry into the market in order to gain a competitive advantage or how business owners sometimes consult each other to manipulate price. Such practices are commonplace, but you would never know it if you read the textbook at 100% face value. The book was helpful to gain a basic understanding of introductory economics, but our in-depth conversations are what took this class to the next level. For instance, the book presented raising the minimum wage as a direct cause of rising unemployment. However, like so many topics in Economics “it depends” on so many other factors. While many of the models and graphs we worked assumed the market was perfectly competitive, they are still very useful because they allow us to isolate variables and study how that affects the economy. That being said, I think it is important to study them in context and remember that they are only models, not a representation of reality. More than anything, this class has made me aware of the differences between what happens in reality and what is generally taught in first year Economics. That realization has already given me a greater understanding of issues that face our society and will help me form intelligent opinions moving forward. Thank you for a great course and stay healthy!
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2020 on ECON 100 Final Exam at Jolly Green General
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Apr 22, 2020