Ryan goes through the steps he had to complete in order to cancel his gym membership. By requiring all of the additional steps to opt out of the membership, it decreases the likelihood that individuals will actually cancel their membership and instead pay the monthly fee despite not wanting the service. Ryan even discusses how he’s fallen victim to the sunk cost fallacy because he walked by his gym on the way to purchase envelopes for the letter, but he was already “in too deep” to stop by and cancel in person.
Mitch Hedberg has spent a lot of time becoming a good comedian, but as soon as he gets to Hollywood, people start asking him to do other things that he isn’t (comparatively) good at like acting or writing. He compares this to spending time becoming a great cook and then being asked if you could farm. People should specialize in what they have a comparative advantage in and if Mitch Hedberg spent is time writing or acting then he’d be giving up a lot of income as a good comedian.
You can see the full clip on Comedy Central.
When a firm has monopoly power, they have the ability to charge higher prices for a reduce quantity (and sometimes quality) service. If consumers don’t have alternatives then they are forced to deal with poor customer service and unreliability. This comedy piece highlights a fictions cable company that actually admits they aren’t very good.
Louis CK works through the rational model of crime by Becker and why he’s happy that there are laws against murdering people. This clips would be great for a behavioral economics course or maybe a funny introduction to principles to talk about incentives, externalities, and public policy.
Louis C.K. on Conan really hates technology even though it’s provided significant gains in standard of living. Louis outlines the negative externalities and the unintended consequences associated with the growth.
Wanda discusses insider trading in her comedy bit and notes that everyone participates in some form of insider trading. While Martha Stewart may have been sent to jail for insider trading, her cousin who works at Walmart will call her and tell her not to buy certain products because they’ll go on sale next week.
Ron isn’t sure how a pair of sunglasses can cost more than a color television. On a recent trip to the Sunglass Hut to pick up a pair of new sunglasses, he encounters a salesperson who tries to convince him that the elimination of UV rays makes the glasses worth their price tag. Ron, not so politely, disagrees.
Christian Finnegan knows he isn’t in the best shape so he’s decided to join a gym. He figures that at least if he never goes to the gym then he can consider the gym membership a form of fat tax. This framing adjustment could still have the same impact as working out since he now has to internalize his decision to eat unhealthy foods.
Wanda moved to New York and her family told her to go out and a buy a particular type of gun, one that would end up costing her $400. Falling victim to the sunk cost fallacy, Wanda feels like if she spends $400 on a gun then she needs to make sure that it gets used, even if it means using it on friends that she invites over.
Wanda Sykes describes how she tests her husband when he doesn’t even know he’s being tested. She’s okay with a sink of dirty dishes one or two days, but if it continues for much longer than she’ll extract her revenge (later in the clip she talks about how all the fury comes out when they’re having sex). This tit-for-tat behavior where one party waits for the other one can turn into a situation where both parties are eating off of napkins and no one is cleaning anything.