Mona Lisa has just started working for Tom and wants to leave early to go to a concert that she received tickets for. Based on her logic, if Tom were to say no then it would feel like he’s taking something away from her. Even though she didn’t purchase the item, the feelings of loss are often stronger than the amount of gains for an item.
Tom isn’t happy with Mona-Lisa anymore, but he isn’t brave enough to break up with her. He decides to seek out help from his previous girlfriend, Ann, but it’s going to cost him. Ann initially refuses, but agrees once he offers her his chenille blanket that she likes.
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.
Leslie meets with Kathryn Pinewood to discuss the sizes of sodas sold at the local restaurants. Leslie, as city council member, doesn’t believe that this move by local businesses is good for the health of her community. Local restaurants have gotten creative in marketing the larger sodas by offering price discounts when customers by large volumes. Despite framing the larger sizes with more normal names, Leslie is confused why people would keep purchasing that much soda.
Ben and Leslie are trying to outsmart the new Newport campaign manager, but they aren’t sure if she’s giving them good advice or purposely bad advice. Having complete information means that everyone knows that everyone knows, but Ben and Leslie are feeling a bit lost.
Andy hits his head against the wall, but can’t afford to go see a doctor. He hasn’t had insurance for two years because he thinks he only needs it for when something bad happens. Moral hazards often arise when one party takes on more risk because they are insured.
While on suspension, Leslie buys her officemates Christmas gifts based on their personalities. Ron mentions how he only gives people $20, but realizes how great Leslie’s gifts are and how the office needs to remedy the gift giving imbalance. While Ron takes the most efficient outcome for gift giving, he’s realizing that there may need to be a bit more thought put into the process.
Ann runs into Donna at a single’s event but is quickly sent away because she represents competition in “the jungle.” Dating markets work best whenever they are “thick,” but if there aren’t many available mates then it can be hard to match up.
Tom needs to move, but doesn’t have a truck. He enlists the help of Mark because he has a pickup truck and Andy/April because he needs labor. All agree to help even though Tom offers no compensation. Social norms often mean that friends help each other despite not being compensated.