Leslie is trying to prepare for the correspondents’ lunch by testing her jokes on the Parks Department. While most of her jokes revolve around a local newspaper that has picked on Leslie in the past, she decides to ask her colleagues if they have any jokes she can use Ron decides to tell the gang a joke about efficient governments, but Leslie doesn’t find it all that funny.
See more: government intervention, government spending, inefficiencies, mandatory transactions, mutually beneficial transactions, rent seeking, role of government, tax revenue, taxes
In a tight battle for City Council, Leslie approaches the President of the Pawnee Senior Citizens with a plan to place wheelchair ramps on every city building to make it easier for elderly citizens to get around. Bobby Newport announces a very similar plan, but instead of ramps, they propose adding chair lifts to each building. Both are pandering to the elderly vote with essentially the same program.
Thanks to an anonymous submitter for the clip!
See more: government programs, government spending, median voter theory, product differentiation, rent seeking
Ben is in DC working as a congressional intern and Leslie takes the opportunity to head to Washington, D.C. to ask for federal funding the clean up the Pawnee River, which is a bit of a “fixer-upper.” This rent seeking behavior is common when entities are seeking federal funding for items that will only benefit their areas.
See more: common resources, federal budget, government spending, overuse, rent seeking, tragedy of the commons
Ron teaches his young basketball players that capitalism is God’s way of determining who is smart and who is poor. In the long run of a perfectly competitive market, the worst performers should be pushed out of the market.
See more: capitalism, comparative systems, globalization, government programs, government spending, inequality, normative statements, taxes
Ben and Leslie propose a solution to solving the budget crises, but accidentally suggest that all D1 employees (low-level) should be terminated. Because there is a limited amount of funds available in the city budget, any money moving to one department must come at the expense of another department.
See more: federal budget, government spending, opportunity costs, rationing, scarcity, tradeoffs, unintended consequences
Leslie asks a city councilor to not cut the Parks budget 8% and to find the money somewhere else. The counselor decides to propose shutting down the local animal shelter in exchange. Because funding is scarce in the local government, the city councilors have to cut funding in one area to save another department.
See more: budgets, federal budget, government spending, opportunity costs, rationing, scarcity, tradeoffs, unintended consequences
The city is finally removing an old payphone and has decided to complete Indiana’s tiniest park. Leslie believes this investment will attract 5000 visitors to the city who would want to see the “Smallest Park in Indiana.”’
See more: common resources, government spending, growth, investment, technology
Ben and Chris come into town from Indianapolis to help cut the town’s budget because of their pending financial situation. Ben suggests firing Leslie to relieve some of the spending associated with the inflated budget, but Ron describes how valuable Leslie is to the department and how she’s worth her salary. He basically argues that her marginal productivity vastly exceeds her salary despite making the second largest salary in the department.
See more: derived demand, government shutdown, government spending, marginal product, marginal revenue product, total wage bill, types of income, value
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.
See more: common resources, government shutdown, government spending, public resources, role of government, types of goods
Pawnee is going through a budget crisis so Leslie and Ron propose a list of budget cuts that they believe will help keep the Parks Department operation. Chris and Ben break the news that the city’s budget is worse than imagined and the government will need to shut down despite their efforts to keep it operating.
See more: bargaining, government shutdown, government spending, tradeoffs