Ron is trying to convince Leslie to take a sabbatical and focus on her campaign and not split her time between campaigning and the Parks Department. He tells the story of himself in middle school trying to complete schoolwork while working at the tannery and a sheet-metal factory and how it wasn’t worth trying to “half ass two things.”
Ron’s advice is that even though Leslie can do both things, she should specialize in her campaign. Trying to do too many things would cause Leslie to experience diminishing returns rather quickly and she could achieve a lot more if she focuses on less.
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
This is a mock advertisement on a Pawnee television station for a merger between Verizon, Exxon, and Chipotle, which would make it one of the 8 remaining companies in America in their fictional year 2017.
See more: horizontal mergers, market power, mergers, monopoly, oligopoly
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
Ron is sad that JJ’s diner is closing even though it is a sign that he is a failure as a businessman, or the market has determined he is not adding enough value.
See more: competition, free entry and exit, invisible hand, profit maximization
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 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