Leslie is upset after a recent speech she gave in London, but Ron is there to help. Ron invites Leslie outside for a pep talk so she can get some fresh air. As a staunch libertarian, Ron isn’t too fond of the foul stench of European Socialism. Ron is not a big fan of his trip to London and has trouble adjusting to the differences between the two countries.
See more: comparative systems, Europe, libertarianism, market based economies, socialism
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).
See more: decreasing utility, diminishing returns, negative utility, utility
A Southern Indiana tradition revolves around political candidates’ wives baking pies in a contest known as the Pie-Mary. Leslie has decided to skip the Pie-Mary contest so she can help Ben with his campaign, but it’s turned into a big ordeal. She ties to change her mind and enter the Pie-Mary, but that angers another group of people. Regardless of her decision, someone is upset and it distracts from Ben’s campaign. Leslie and Ben finish the episode with a press conference where Leslie points out that people should be allowed to do whatever the wish. Socially defined gender roles like the ones portrayed in the episode highlight some of the issues facing women in the labor market.
See more: discrimination, gender, gender equality, gender roles, labor, sexual harassment, statistical discrimination
It’s time for some shop talk as Leslie and Ben sit down with Ben’s campaign manager to discuss their strategy going forward in Ben’s election. Leslie takes a brief moment to note that shop talk is one of her favorite types of talk and then goes on to list the other types. This is a cute (and quick) introduction to the concept of product differentiation, where companies sell similar products with different attributes. Product differentiation can allow a company to charge higher prices for their products if people perceive value in the differentiation.
See more: preferences, product differentiation, subjective value
Leslie tries to throw a garage sale to help Jerry pay for his medical bills because the government insurance plan is so bad. She goes on to describe how the Pawnee Municipal Employee Health Care Plan is so bad that she was denied coverage on a sprained wrist because they believed having a wrist was a pre-existing condition.
See more: health economics, inefficiencies, insurance, public health
The Parks Department is holding a garage sale to help raise funds for Jerry’s medical bills. The scene starts with April and Andy trying to decide the appropriate price for a hat that has sentimental value for Andy. Later, Tom tries selling a coat he had paid $150 dollars for. Tom marks the coat up to $200 because he put a scorpion on the back of it, but the customer doesn’t seem to think that’s an appropriate price for this venue.
See more: costs, inputs Prices, prices, subjective value, value, value added, willingness to buy, willingness to sell
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.
See more: demand, demand shifts, preferences, utility
Leslie is ready to get to work, but Ann is confused on whether Leslie ever takes a break from work to enjoy things. Leslie’s preference for work is so high that she does derive utility from working.
See more: labor, labor leisure tradeoff, preferences, utility, workaholic
Ben goes back to the accounting firm that he initially quit, only to decide to quit again as soon as he sees his office. In discussing his motivation, he talks about how he wants to do something meaningful with his life, but then he realizes the benefits of being an accountant including stability and above average pay.
See more: compensating differentials, labor, non-pecuniary factors, preferences, types of income, utility
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.
See more: discrimination, equality, gender, gender equality, labor, occupational segregation, sexual harassment, women in the workplace