Leslie shares her opinion that a vendor at the farmers’ market has a crude display, and cites this as a reason to kick them out. Some citizens argue that government should not play an active role in dictating norms in society, but Leslie feels that’s the part of the government’s responsibility. This could be argued from a public choice perspective or as the role of government in correcting externalities.
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.
Dr. Jamm bought a cooktop table from Benihana for $4,000 and thinks it is worth every penny. While Leslie and Chris may not place the same value on the table, Jamm’s subjective value is at least $4000.
Ron’s chair becomes popular after being featured in Bloosh, and Annabelle wants to talk about licensing his designs and scaling up production. Instead of having each handmade by Ron Swanson, they can be mass-produced by foreign labor.
Members of the Parks Department goes to London to visit, but Leslie can’t decide which bus tour to take. She has three options, all starting around the same time and needs to pick one. Ron and April aren’t much help. Because time is a scarce resource, Leslie needs to figure out which bus tour will maximize her happiness.
Leslie goes on Pawnee Today to talk about the City Council’s approval ratings. Joan Callamezzo is not at her best and describes the situation as a fact when it’s really her opinion. This is a good opening segue to discussing normative vs positive statements.
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.
Ben is getting a little tired of Pawnee, but he’s only two stamps away from his “free” meatball sub. Unfortunately, his card is expired. He’s a bit sad about it, but those stamps are essentially a sunk cost. The card itself is a good example of ways that firms price discriminate and offer discounts to bulk shoppers.
When the NBA goes on strike, Entertainment 7Twenty (Tom and Jean-Ralphio’s company) hires Indiana Pacer Roy Hibbert to play one-on-one basketball at the office for 75% of his salary. When worker’s aren’t able to go to work, their next best alternative is lower than their original wage. This allows interested firms to get labor a discount.
Ron describes a gentleman’s agreement he made with a man to build a dining table in exchange for a 60 feet of copper pipe and a half pig. The barter system is inefficient because of how hard it is to properly measure the trades.