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.
After Sweet-Ums tries stocking the local parks with their sugar-loaded protein bars, Leslie and Ann try holding a town forum to persuade citizens to vote against this decision. Ron isn’t happy with this directive because he is a firm believe in people having the right to consumer whatever they want and that the government should not interfere in that decision.
Thanks to an anonymous submitter for the clip!
Leslie is a workaholic, so when the office starts to get sick she gets a bit nervous. When Andy starts showing symptoms of the flu, she realizes he may be contagious. Jerry has already been quarantined because of his symptoms.
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.
The Pawnee Video Dome is failing and going out of business. Leslie is trying to find tax breaks to keep him afloat, but Ron says the market is signaling that the company is not providing enough value to consumers and deserves to fail. If companies provide a social good (like intellectual conversations) then governments may step in and subsidize the production of the service.
A young student needs to interview someone for a school project and stumbles upon Ron in the office. Her project is supposed to focus on the role of government in society, which gives Ron the opportunity to share his libertarian views about the government’s purpose. After describing these views, the young student’s parent comes back very unhappy.
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.
Pawnee, Indiana is going through a budget crises and the city has decided to postpone all planning and spending decisions until the state auditors come by to review their budgets. While this terrifies Leslie, Ron is happy that state auditors are coming to slash the Pawnee budget because he feels government spending has gotten out of hand.