Ron is trying to convince Leslie to take a sabbatical and focus on her campaign and not split her time between campaigning and the Parks Department. He tells the story of himself in middle school trying to complete schoolwork while working at the tannery and a sheet-metal factory and how it wasn’t worth trying to “half ass two things.”
Ron’s advice is that even though Leslie can do both things, she should specialize in her campaign. Trying to do too many things would cause Leslie to experience diminishing returns rather quickly and she could achieve a lot more if she focuses on less.
Leslie accepts a job with the National Parks Service in Chicago, but it means she has to leave her hometown of Pawnee, Indiana. She tries to recruit team members from the office, but no one is willing to go with her. She begins to realize all the things she’s going to miss when she leaves. Because time and resources are scarce, Leslie is forced to make choices.
See more: comparative advantage, migration, mobility, needs, opportunity costs, preferences, psychic costs, tradeoffs, wants
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.
See more: opportunity costs, preferences, signalling, tradeoffs
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.
See more: choices, opportunity costs, tradeoffs
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.
See more: comparative advantage, gains from trade, gift giving, opportunity costs, specialization, trade
Ben’s been offered a job with a local accounting firm, but he isn’t as excited about the commute or the carpeting in the office. Leslie recommends that if he isn’t in love with the idea of working there then he should take some time to consider other options. The non-pecuniary aspects of jobs are important in the decision to accept employment.
See more: compensating differentials, labor, non-pecuniary factors, opportunity costs, types of income, unemployment
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.
See more: free lunch,NSTAFL, opportunity costs, price discrimination, second degree price discrimination, sunk costs
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.
See more: labor, next best alternative, opportunity costs, reservation wage, strikes, unions
Ron has carefully hidden his birthday information from his friends, but Leslie uncovers the date when Ron decided to get a free scoop of rum raisin ice cream on his birthday from Baskin Robbins. While he didn’t realize it at the time, his free scoop of ice cream eventually cost him an important piece of personal information he was trying to hide.
See more: free lunch, NSTAFL, opportunity costs
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