Reuben, his mother, and sisters have worked very hard to produce a beautiful “log cabin” quilt to sell to earn money to help pay for an expensive operation for Reuben’s friends’ Grandfather, who was hurt in an accident. A huge problem occurs when the beautiful quilt is stolen right before the auction. What will the family do?
What scarce productive resources were used to produce the quilt?
Raw materials - fabric, thread (these come from natural resources such as land, water, sunshine, etc.); capital resources - sewing machine, needle; human resources – the people who worked making the quilt.
Grandfather needed a special, difficult operation. Why is such a medical operation usually so expensive?
It takes many scarce and valuable productive resources to perform a medical operation. It takes the land to build the hospital. It takes very scarce capital resources – hospital building, equipment, medical supplies, etc. It also takes the specialized services of very skilled doctors and nurses.
What made the log cabin quilt so “scarce?”
It was handmade with a very unique log cabin pattern. It was, in effect, “one of a kind.”
How did the scarcity of the log cabin quilt affect its price in the auction?
It was evidently a very beautiful and valued quilt. Its price was bid up, and it commanded the highest price of all the quilts.
What is the general relationship between scarcity and price?
In general, the more “scarce” a good or service is compared to other goods and services, the higher the price. Price is a reflection of relative scarcity.
Are scarce goods and services always bought and sold for a price?
This is usually true. But sometimes people give scarce goods and services away to help others. In the story, Mr. Ober gave the quilt he purchased to Sam and Ben’s grandfather!
What are other examples of people giving away scarce goods and services?
Donate goods (or money, which can be used to purchase goods) to a charity such as Goodwill or Salvation Army, help an elderly neighbor with yard work or pet watching, donate time to a community service agency, etc.
Author: Merle Good
Illustrator: P. Buckley Moss
Grade Level: Pre K-3
Publisher: Good Books