Monday, November 12, 2012

How an Obama Voter sees Thanksgiving Dinner

I had to come downstairs from my study to post this in order to keep from screaming.....
I am grading exams (always a miserable experience) this week.  This particular exam involves supply and demand analysis.
Essay question #3 asked my students to grapically illustrate and explain what the market for turkeys will look like this month and whether or not it would make sense for the federal government to impose a national lottery on turkeys so that "everyone could enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner."
Of course, many of you know that when government uses "non-price rationing" like a waiting list, waiting line or lottery, this causes two simple laws to kick in.  The first is called the law of demand.  Pushing down prices causes quantity demanded to increase.  The second is called the law of supply.  Pushing down prices causes suppliers to reduce their quantity supplied.  The result, of course, is a shortage and black markets. 
So, what did one student think about a turkey lottery?  Here is her answer, word for word, with no editing...
"I think it would make sense for the federal government to create a national lottery for turkeys simply because, the holiday is to really give thanks on what you have but not everyone could receive, some people didn't have the time to go to the store, or didn't have the money.  If the government were to do such a thing I think pigs will fly, for them to make sure every family receives a turkey or have, some kind of drawing so that someone or more than one could win.  It would make sense for them to do it because everyone deserves to eat, and be thankful for life, but you can put a strain on the market for turkeys.  Supply will be up but numbers of buyers will decrease, which makes prices decrease, but can cause for demand to increase because prices have decreased."
As I now go back upstairs to continue grading I am truly thankful that I live in a country where I am not expected to grade exams while I am eating my Thanksgiving dinner.


  1. Maybe we can hire a live turkey to keep you company while you are grading exams.... LOL

    1. Maybe the turkey could even take my test. He would do better than many of my students.

  2. Sigh.
    Fight the good fight, Professor.

  3. Nordic Guy - I am looking forward to a peaceful Thanksgiving dinner with our great New Hampshire friends.

  4. Ouch. I don't understand how anyone would even dare write this on the exam. Did this person even step in to the class? Even if the reasons to WHY we shouldn't have the turkey lottery are unclear, I would have still said "turkey lottery = BAD," and hope that I would get at least 5 points. I hope it was only to get a nice chuckle out of you. On that note, you must be enjoying a nice single-malt of some sort while grading, yes?