Fire At Oinkle Sam's

One afternoon, there was a big fire at one of the Oinkle Sam's Barbeque Ribs Company production factories.   The recipe originator and owner, Oinkle Sam, put too much special barbeque sauce on a large batch of ribs and the production factory went up.   Everything was lost -- the buidling, all the equipment -- everything, including the whole company's bookeeping records which were kept in that particular building.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt, not even Oinkle Sam who at 430 pounds moves pretty slow.   Oinkle Sam had insurance that covered the building and equipment, but didn't have any copies of those darn bookeeping records that were needed for knowing how many pounds of ribs to produce each day.

So, Oinkle Sam called a meeting of all the corporate accountants and business managers in the hopes that some of them might recall some of what was on those bookeeping records.   Oinkle Sam didn't remember anything about the records.   One accountant remembered that the producer's surplus was 132,000 while another recalled that the consumer's surplus was a fourth of the producer's surplus.   A business manager remembered that the supply curve was given by

for a quantity q, and that the demand curve was linear, but she didn't recall the exact equation for the demand curve.

From the information that Oinkle Sam and the staff remember, is it possible for them to figure out where the supply equals the demand (the equilibrium point) and to determine an equation for the demand curve if they assume the demand curve is linear?

Next: Study the "The Theory" of Supply and Demand graphs.

Creator: CJ Kentler
V.S. Manoranjan
Washington State University
Department of Mathematics
Pullman, Wa. 99164-3113