Externalities of a Roommate

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.

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Mouth Drinkers

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.

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Undesirables in a Park

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.

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Is a Sunset Worth Asthma?

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.

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Ron Finds a Typewriter

Ron finds a typewriter out by the dumpster, but the noise of the machine bothers everyone in the office. While it makes him happy, he’s not taking into consideration the costs he is imposing on everyone else.

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Ron’s Toxic Workshop

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.

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Ron & Child Labor Laws

Ron describes his promotion to manager of a sheet metal factory at the age of 9, but regrets that child labor laws are now ruining this country. Child labor laws a good example of decreasing in supply of labor for the early 1900s and a service as a good discussion on the role of government.

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Negative Externalities of a Nearby Park

Ann and Leslie are trying to convince local residents that a park would be a good alternative to a giant pit located near their homes. The two of them go door-to-door framing their questions to garner public support, but one local resident doesn’t want a park built near her house because of all the potential negative externalities associated with them.

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Ron Swanson on Capitalism

Ron and Leslie meet for lunch to settle a bet, but not before Ron extolls the virtues of capitalism and competition in the free market. Leslie, of course, disagrees on the role of government because she recognizes that not all services can be provided private enterprise.

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