The Parks Department is trying to determine where to eat and Donna suggests sushi. Andy initially declines because he claims that he is allergic, but it turns out he just thinks he’s allergic. Every time he eats 80 pieces of sushi he gets sick. He probably isn’t allergic, but instead is experiencing decreasing returns (negative marginal returns).
Every time Ann starts dating someone new, her preferences shift and she starts buying items that match the preferences of her partner. For Chris, she started buying a lot of workout equipment, for Andy it was a grunge phase, and for Tom it was purchasing a lot of unnecessary items. The demand for various items in a market can shift when consumer preferences change, and for Ann that occurs when she has a new boyfriend.
Tom isn’t happy with Mona-Lisa anymore, but he isn’t brave enough to break up with her. He decides to seek out help from his previous girlfriend, Ann, but it’s going to cost him. Ann initially refuses, but agrees once he offers her his chenille blanket that she likes.
After Sweet-Ums tries stocking the local parks with their sugar-loaded protein bars, Leslie and Ann try holding a town forum to persuade citizens to vote against this decision. Ron isn’t happy with this directive because he is a firm believe in people having the right to consumer whatever they want and that the government should not interfere in that decision.
Thanks to an anonymous submitter for the clip!
Ann and Chris decide not to buy an engagement ring because they think it is an unnecessary expense when they could do other things with the money. Engagement rings are often considered signals in the dating market that one partner is unavailable. The couple watching the exchange realize they could buy a house instead of buying a ring.
Tom incentives the department to come to his club and try his newest drink by threatening to place them on his “done-zo” list. The Parks Department decides to go to the Snake Hole Lounge to try Tom’s new drink, but instead they all have a bit too much and go through the next day feeling terrible. One of the other issues shown in this video is diminishing marginal utility. As the night goes on, each member of the group gets a bit happier, but they eventually peak and see negative returns the next morning.
See more: decreasing utility, diminishing returns, externalities, health economics, negative externalities, negative utility, private benefits, private costs, social benefits, social costs, unintended consequences, utility maximization
Leslie meets with Kathryn Pinewood to discuss the sizes of sodas sold at the local restaurants. Leslie, as city council member, doesn’t believe that this move by local businesses is good for the health of her community. Local restaurants have gotten creative in marketing the larger sodas by offering price discounts when customers by large volumes. Despite framing the larger sizes with more normal names, Leslie is confused why people would keep purchasing that much soda.
Leslie’s first act as a city councilwoman is to implement a soda tax because she believes that it will make Pawnee healthier. The new larger sodas are causing obesity in town and Leslie aims to regulate the market through taxes. Depending on the size of the local elasticity, there may not be much of a change in consumption, but it could mean additional revenue for the city.
Ben and April are in DC while Ben is serving as a congressional intern, but both receive care packages from their significant others while away. Andy is running out of clean clothes and includes this in his most recent care package to April. While Ben’s care packs from Leslie aren’t as strange, April’s includes Andy’s dirty laundry because she is so much better at doing laundry than he is. Andy feel’s April has a comparative advantage in laundry despite being so far apart from each other.