This commercial is a great opening piece to talk about the differences between equity and efficiency. While both young girls are better off that before (efficiency improvements), they are not relatively better off because one is getting an actual pony (equity issues). One of the hard portions of this concept is to think about this issue as a true tradeoffs that efficiency gains often come at the cost of decreased equity. This increase in inequality between the two girls may be a nice, short way of demonstrating that tradeoff.
Frank convinces an art gallery director to come to the bar in order to try and convince her to buy their bad art. After looking around and watching a homemade video, she describes how art is worth what the buyer is willing to pay and that everyone has different preferences and values items differently. She also discusses the double coincidence of wants and how she no longer wants to buy back Frank’s painting.
Thank you to Ian Pearson for the clip reference!
Charlie has been crabbing in the local river, which may or may not have waste runoff, to try and raise some money during the recession. Their logic is that food is depression-proof since people have to eat. They believe that people’s demand for food is inelastic and they just need to acquire food to sell in order to earn money.
Frank poses as an art collector to try and convince the art gallery owner that a really bad piece is actually really valuable. This clip is a great segue into subjective value and preferences of individuals.
Mac and Dennis come up with a plan to create Paddy’s Dollars in order to stimulate their bar’s revenues, but they have the system a bit backward. They decide to give away a bunch of vouchers that could be used to buy beer to local homeless people. Unfortunately, there’s no incentive for those individuals to come back and buy more Paddy’s Dollars later. This would also be a neat example when teaching circular flow diagrams.
The Last Leg is a British comedy and late night television talk show similar to the Late Show or The Tonight Show in the United States. The economist David Mitchell was a guest one night and opted to talk about taxes, tax evasion, and tax avoidance. He notes that people who have a conscious and try to pay their “fair share” of taxes are actually being taxed at a higher rate than those who are trying to avoid paying taxes. This is backwards from the traditional notion that governments should use taxes to discourage bad behavior.
Thanks for the clip Chris Neill.
Tim decides to customize his lawn mower in order to get more power out of it. By doing so he’s able to mow his lawn much quicker than he previous did. This technological innovation allows him to complete his task much quicker and spend more time on other tasks that need to be completed around the house.
Normally a swear jar would be used to curb bad behavior (like in this clip from New Girl), but the folks around this office are using the money to buy Bud Light and have incidentally increased the usage of swear words.
Sometimes a good thing is too good to pass up. The young men could continue the big race or they could sacrifice their chance for a cold beer. They chose the latter.