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.
Leslie, Ron, and April decide to hold a meeting with the different government departments to discuss gender equality issues in Pawnee. The only problem is each department sends male representatives and the commission is composed entirely of male representatives. When questioned about it, one member points out Leslie as being female, but then asks her to go get more snacks.
During a gender equality meeting, Leslie points out that the Sanitation Department has only one female employee, and she’s a secretary. Leslie questions whether the Sanitation Department is discriminating against women in the well-paid job of garbage collector, but the office workers claim its because not enough women apply for the job because it’s physically demanding.
Ron and Chris disagree with the best way to motivate workers. While Chris takes a more intrinsic approach, Ron focuses on base level needs of fear and hunger, but also on money. Ron’s extrinsic approach comes from his belief in markets being able to serve as a motivator. Both agree that motivating workers can increase productivity, but disagree on the best method of doing so.
The Animal Control Department in Pawnee is pretty inept. Their role in the government serves a purpose, but they aren’t doing a very good job. It’s possible a private enterprise (like a pest control service) could be more effective, but its cheaper to staff a few employees to do the same work.
Thanks to an anonymous submitted 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.
The Parks Department is hosting a BBQ in the local park. Ron decides to bring a pig to the park because he wants people to see their food before consuming it. He is not allowed to because it is against the law and violates health codes despite his beliefs that he should be allowed to as the Parks Department director.
The city is finally removing an old payphone and has decided to complete Indiana’s tiniest park. Leslie believes this investment will attract 5000 visitors to the city who would want to see the “Smallest Park in Indiana.”’
Ben and Chris come into town from Indianapolis to help cut the town’s budget because of their pending financial situation. Ben suggests firing Leslie to relieve some of the spending associated with the inflated budget, but Ron describes how valuable Leslie is to the department and how she’s worth her salary. He basically argues that her marginal productivity vastly exceeds her salary despite making the second largest salary in the department.
Pawnee is going through a budget crisis so Leslie and Ron propose a list of budget cuts that they believe will help keep the Parks Department operation. Chris and Ben break the news that the city’s budget is worse than imagined and the government will need to shut down despite their efforts to keep it operating.