The Parks Department has arranged a gala to raise money for a new park on the old Sullivan Lot. If they can’t raise the money, the lot will be sold to build another Paunch Burger. Nothing has gone their way while organizing the gala, and Tom hasn’t been able to find a caterer who was willing to provide free food, but then he had an idea. Paunch Burger operates in a monopolistically competitive market, which means the introduction of another fast-food business would lead to decreased demand for other fast-food companies. Tom is then able to arrange other fast food companies to provide food since they have more to lose if a new restaurant opens.
See more: monopolistic competition, imperfect competition, demand, substitutes, incentives
Jerry (Terry), Joe, and Donna sample wedding cakes from the finest bakeries in Pawnee to determine which one to serve at Donna’s upcoming wedding. Donna and Joe both select the same cake, which is revealed to be the local grocery store cake. Billy claims that he placed that cake in the lineup to weed out the low quality palates, but preferences are often subjective.
See more: preference ranking, preferences, ranking, subjective value, transitivity
Andy tries to help April identify a job that she may be interested in, but she has reasons to hate each of the ones he names. While they may pay well, and she may be qualified for them, the non-pecuniary (non-wage) aspects of the job are just as important as the salary for the job.
See more: Labor, non-pecuniary factors, preferences for work
Tom and Donna are doing one last Treat Yo Self journey before Donna’s wedding. As the Butler of Honor, Tom takes Donna to eat at the hottest sushi restaurant in LA. All of the fish served has been previously owned by celebrities as a way to differentiate it from standard sushi.
See more: advertising, celebrity endorsement, monopolistic competition, product differentiation
Donna and Tom are curious about what the newest fad is in Pawnee. Annabel Porter tells Ron, Donna, and Tom about milk with a flourish that makes it worth $60 a gallon instead of $3 a gallon. Ron isn’t fooled, he realizes it’s just milk.
See more: advertising, demand shifts, monopolistic competition, preferences, product differentiation
Gryzzl wants to bring in a celebrity to help distinguish the company so that they can win the bid. Tom and Donna list other instances where celebrity ownership or endorsement have helped companies. Celebrity endorsements may serve as a signalling device for companies.
See more: advertising, celebrity endorsement, monopolistic competition, product differentiation, signalling
Leslie is hoping to obtain a piece of land for free so she can turn it into a park. Ron taunts Leslie about her $0 bid for the land because typically people expect money in exchange for goods and services. This can be a good illustration of the medium of exchange function of money, but can also lead to a deeper discussion of externalities.
See more: capitalism, exchange, medium of exchange, money, transactions
Leslie tries obtaining a large parcel of local land to build a park in honor of the history of Pawnee. When the group arrives at JJ’s Diner, they learn that the diner will be shutting down because of a new owner. Leslie discusses the growth that Pawnee has been experiencing, but laments the loss of some of Pawnee’s charm.
See more: development, gentrification, growth, monopolistic competition, standard of living
Leslie tries to convince Jessica Newport to donate the Newport land to the national Park Service by reminding her that the Newport name has not always been associated with positive things. For instance when their hot fudge pipe exploded and the hot fudge flowed into the lake making the fish taste delicious. Negative externality or positive externality, you be the judge.
See more: externalities, negative externalities, positive externalities, private benefits, self-interest, social benefits, social costs
The Newports have decided to sell a large parcel of land and Leslie believes this is the opportunity of a lifetime where she can make a name for herself. She briefly considers the option of retiring, but then explains that she wants to work until she is a hundred and then cut back to 4 days a week. This is a fun clip to illustrate labor force participation decisions and different preferences.
See more: labor, labor force participation, labor leisure tradeoff, leisure, retirement, supply