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Mass production

Dnl-SES / Economic and Social Changes

Video Transcript by IES

The video gives a quite good insight into economic and social changes caused by mass production. However, it doesn’t deal with market structures. Which one was dominating? Was it perfect competition or monopoly or oligopoly?

Here’s the video transcript about mass production.

I also added a link about market structures you may go to.


Video transcript

“In the 1920´s, many Americans had disposable income to spend. What were they spending it on? Where were these products coming from?

Throughout the year 1900, Henry Ford developped and refined the assembly line methods. Ford’s automobile factories can produce vehicules more efficiently and cheaper than before. Using the assembly line methods, workers would perform one task on each automobile and then would move down the line to the next worker who would complete a different task. With this method, Ford can roll a car off the assembly line every ten seconds.

This type of mass production allowed the average price of an automobile to drop from $850 to $250.

Ford’s methods were quickly adopted by other industries. Skilled labourer was no longer needed to assemble finished products. Instead, it was only necessary to train an unskilled labourer how to do one simple task.

Suddenly, factories were turning out countless numbers of products that once deemed as luxury products. Now these products can be used in such large quantities they became affordable to the average person.

More factory jobs meant more workers as well. Not only were more people being employed but they were also receiving good wages. The average worker’s wage rose by 20% during the 1920s. With more people working for higher wages, they no longer needed to spend on all their money on essential items such as food, housing and clothing.

These worker began to emerge as what now is tought of as middle class. This new middle class discovers that it’s free to spend their disposable income on many of the luxury items that were being produced. Many of these items were becoming available and useful because of the increased use of electricity. Things like refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and radios were all becoming staples of the average home.

The new mass production methods made these products inexpensive because they could be produced quickly. For example, by the end of 1920s, more than one million refrigerators were being produced each year. Also more than 10 million radios had been sold by 1920.

With the new influx of products to buy something else emerged as well. Companies began mass marketing their products and competing with their rivals for the business of consumers. Advertisement became increasingly common throughout the decade. Radio proved to be an excellent method for advertisers to communicate with large number of people at the same time. Each advertisement was used to convince a listener that they absolutely needed the latest gadget or healthcare product. Advertisement proved very effective too. For example, sales of Listerine skyrocketed from $100,000 a year in 1921 to more than $4 million by 1927.

Unfortunately, even though the new middle class had more disposable income than ever before, some products were still too expensive to buy. This was especially true of automobile and high priced items. Therefore, a new method of purchasing was created. It became known as buying on installment or credit. A down payment would be made on the item and the rest of purchase price would be paid off over the course of next several month or even years. This led to millions of Americans facing large and unnecessary debt at the conclusion of the decade.”

Supply of Fish

Faced with one of the world’s greatest challenges – how to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050 in a context of climate change, economic and financial uncertainty, and growing competition for natural resources – the international community made unprecedented commitments in September 2015 when UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda also sets aims for the contribution and conduct of fisheries and aquaculture towards food security and nutrition in the use of natural resources so as to ensure sustainable development in economic, social and environmental terms.
Many millennia after terrestrial food production shifted from hunter-gatherer activities to agriculture, aquatic food production has transitioned from being primarily based on capture of wild fish to culture of increasing numbers of farmed species. A milestone was reached in 2014 when the aquaculture sector’s contribution to the supply of fish for human consumption overtook that of wild-caught fish for the first time. Meeting the ever-growing demand for fish as food in conformity with the 2030 Agenda will be imperative, and also immensely challenging.
With capture fishery production relatively static since the late 1980s, aquaculture has been responsible for the impressive growth in the supply of fish for human consumption (Figure 1).

Whereas aquaculture provided only 7 percent of fish for human consumption in 1974, this share had increased to 26 percent in 1994 and 39 percent in 2004. China has played a major rôle in this growth as it represents more than 60 percent of world aquaculture production.
World per capita apparent fish consumption increased from an average of 9.9 kg in the 1960s to 14.4 kg in the 1990s and 19.7 kg in 2013, with preliminary estimates for 2014 and 2015 pointing towards further growth beyond 20 kg (Table 1, all data presented are subject to rounding). In addition to the increase in production, other factors that have contributed to rising consumption include reductions in wastage, better utilization, improved distribution channels, and growing demand linked to population growth, rising incomes and urbanization. International trade has also played an important role in providing wider choices to consumers.
Although annual per capita consumption of fish has grown steadily in developing regions (from 5.2 kg in 1961 to 18.8 kg in 2013) and in low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs) (from 3.5 to 7.6 kg), it is still considerably lower than that in more developed regions, even though the gap is narrowing. In 2013, per capita apparent fish consumption in industrialized countries was 26.8 kg. A sizeable and growing share of fish consumed in developed countries consists of imports, owing to steady demand and static or declining domestic fishery production.

Source : http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5555e.pdf