SATISFACTION OF HUMAN WANTS
For us to lead our lives well, we require certain commodities and services. These goods and services satisfy our wants. Human wants can be referred to as the desires that human beings strive to satisfy by using goods and services. The satisfaction of these wants refers to the process of acquiring and using the required goods and services.
Characteristics of human wants
Types of Human Wants
There are two main types – basic wants and secondary wants
a. Basic wants
These are the essential needs in life such that one cannot do without them. They include food, shelter and clothing. They are satisfied before the secondary wants. They have the following characteristics;
Secondary wants are requirements for comfortable and luxuriant live. Comforts provide good life, beyond mere survival. It includes such needs like Medicare, education and security. Luxuries include even much more flamboyant needs like a sleek car, a mansion, study abroad and such kinds of needs. At times some secondary want may be meant to save lives, for instance Medicare. In such circumstances, the needs become a basic want.
Goods and Services
These are also known as commodities. Goods comprise of tangible commodities while services are some desirable actions.
Characteristics of Goods
Characteristics of Services
Unlike free resources such as air, rain and sunshine, economic resources are scarce and therefore require effort or price to acquire. Nevertheless, at times free resources may be viewed as economic resources if they provide some economically valuable activities or commodities. E.g. fishing, solar power generation etc.
Characteristics of economic resources
Classification of Economic Resources
a. Natural resources
They are provided by nature and are therefore also known as gifts of nature. Man works on them to create goods and services. They include: minerals, forests, lakes, rivers, Climates Mountains, land and mountains.
For the natural resources to be beneficial, man must:
Goods produced from natural resources can be consumer goods like clothes, bread and ink or prouder goods like machinery, vehicles, trains, computers e.t.c.
b. Man – made resources
These are producer goods produced from natural resources. They include tools, machines and commercial vehicles.
c. Human resources
These are human beings involved in production activities through intelligence or physical effort. They include teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, manual laborers etc.
Renewable Resources and Non-renewable Resources
1. Renewable Resources
They include those resources whose production can be restored after use. Failure to restore can lead to depletion. They include wood, solar, fuel, H.E.P., wind power and soda ash.
2. Non-renewable Resources
Their supply cannot be replenished after use. They include such commodities like gold, building stone, gravel, iron, aluminum, gold, lead, natural gas, etc. These goods cannot be restored after they have been extracted and used.
Human wants are unlimited and varied in such measures as urgency, importance and intensity. They are satisfied through resources which are limited in nature. Therefore a choice has to be made based on the order of preference as to which wants to satisfy and which ones to forego. The second best alternative want foregone in order to satisfy the most preferred want is known as opportunity cost.