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.
Andy goes to the hospital for a broken nose, but it turns into a rant session for Ben. It turns out the roommate situation between Ben, April, and Andy hasn’t been ideal because Andy and April continue to use his things without his permission. Andy and Ben negotiate for ways to remedy the externality on their own. If property rights are well established (Ben does own his stuff!) then two parties can work out externalities without government intervention.
See more: bargaining, Coase Theorem, common resources, externalities, negative externalities, private costs, private goods, public goods, social benefits, social costs, transaction costs, types of goods
Tom recognizes that he can be successful by standing behind successful people and taking partial credit. Free riders often disrupt the efficiency of markets because they receive the benefits without putting in the same level of costs. This rent seeking behavior is apparent in a variety of examples from public service to group projects.
The citizens of Pawnee drink from a water fountain by placing their whole mouth on the nozzle. Ann correctly points out the externality in the situation that by kissing one water fountain drinker, you’re kissing them all.
Leslie and Ben are holding a town forum for Indiana’s Smallest Park, but a town citizen brings up that she’s concerned about whether basketball will be played at this park because it brings undesirables to the park. Leslie then demonstrates all the possible problems that could come from this park, including grilling and fireworks.
The pollution from the local factory creates a beautiful sunset, but it also gives people asthma. Ben and Leslie debate whether the beauty of the sunset is worth the tradeoff. Reducing pollution to zero would be extremely expensive, so it’s important to find some optimal level of pollution.
Pawnee is going through a bit of a budget crises and they have decided to cut the Parks Department budget so that no parks will be open over the summer break. This also means that a previously-planned concert needed to be canceled as well. The citizens of Pawnee want to know what services the government will provide if they are shut down. Ron relishes in the fact that the services aren’t provided.
Pawnee, Indiana is going through a budget crises and the city has decided to postpone all planning and spending decisions until the state auditors come by to review their budgets. While this terrifies Leslie, Ron is happy that state auditors are coming to slash the Pawnee budget because he feels government spending has gotten out of hand.
Ron invites Mark over to his workshop because he needs a license in order to continue selling products. Ron describes how he shouldn’t have to follow government regulations about toxic chemicals because he’s the only one breathing the fumes. If he isn’t bothering others then he doesn’t feel the need to be regulated.