Cones of Dunshire

Ben was fired from public service, but eventually accepted a job at an accounting firm. He’s had a week off in between jobs and decided to spend this free time creating a complex board game called the Cones of Dunshire.

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Soda Tax Layoffs

Local restaurants are now offering giant sodas, filled with sugar. The child-sized soda is actually the size of a small child! Leslie proposes a soda tax to cut back on citizen’s consuming the sugary beverages, but a representative of the Pawnee Restaurant Association warns Leslie against doing so. Because this will limit the number of sodas being sold, restaurants may have to layoff up to 100 workers and Leslie will be the one to blame.

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Are You Better Off?

Leslie is accused of stripping people’s personal freedoms, but there are significant benefits to the community. According to Leslie, obesity is down, test scores are up, and raccoon attacks have decreased, but some citizens aren’t happy with the changes. When determining the appropriate level of government regulation, the costs and benefits of each action need to be considered, which is easier said than done.

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Eagleton Pride

Neighboring city, Eagleton, has decided to build a fence around a small park they used to share with the citizens of Pawnee. Throughout the episode, we learn of various quality-of-life factors that Eagleton excels in relative to Pawnee. Things like obesity, height, income, wealth, and life expectancy are all much higher than in Pawnee, and the citizens of Eagleton want to keep it that way.

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The Pawnee Video Dome is Failing

The Pawnee Video Dome is failing and going out of business. Leslie is trying to find tax breaks to keep him afloat, but Ron says the market is signaling that the company is not providing enough value to consumers and deserves to fail. If companies provide a social good (like intellectual conversations) then governments may step in and subsidize the production of the service.

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Care Package

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.

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Because of Jail

The Parks Department of Pawnee invites delegates from their sister city in Baraguá, Venezuela to attend a local townhall meeting. This particular townhall meeting includes complaints about various externalities associated with parks including frisbees and dog feces. The Baraguá delegate describes the command and control approach used by his country when citizens impose externalities on others.

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Venezuela vs. Pawnee

Pawnee is hosting Baraguá, Venezuela as their sister city and Leslie warns the group to make sure they understand how poor Venezuela is. The Parks Department quickly finds out that the group is much more affluent than they previous considered.

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