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.
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.
April accidentally schedules all of Ron’s meetings for March 31st because she doesn’t think it’s a real day. Instead, Ron has to deal with a variety of concerned citizens, many of whom are causing externalities throughout the city.
Leslie’s first act as a city councilwoman is to implement a soda tax because she believes that it will make Pawnee healthier. The new larger sodas are causing obesity in town and Leslie aims to regulate the market through taxes. Depending on the size of the local elasticity, there may not be much of a change in consumption, but it could mean additional revenue for the city.
The Parks Department is hosting a BBQ in the local park. Ron decides to bring a pig to the park because he wants people to see their food before consuming it. He is not allowed to because it is against the law and violates health codes despite his beliefs that he should be allowed to as the Parks Department director.
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.