Spongebob — World Domination

 

Plankton wants the secret recipe to the Krabby Patties and hires a hitman to help him. The problem? He tells the hitman that he wants a secret formula that will allow him to gain total world domination. Little does the hitman know that the Plankton believes the secret to world domination is total control over the fast food industry. While these may be correlated, it’s unlikely that total control over the fast food industry will cause Plankton to have total control over the world.

Thanks to Erin Yetter (and her kids) for the clip reference!

The Simpsons — Sirloin-A-Lot Challenge

This clips includes a few different economics concepts rolled in to one. The overarching theme is that of consumer choice where Homer appears to experience diminishing returns while trying to eat a 16 pound steak. He’s competing against a previous eating contest winner, who dies at the end from eating too much steak.

In the middle of the clip, Marge asks Dr. Hibbert if that much steak is healthy and Dr. Hibbert exhibits a bit of the principle-agent problem where his interests now align with eating competitions because he owns a portion of the restaurant. The good doctor tells her not to worry because they have a new heimlich machine, which decreases their need to focus on choking hazards.

John Stossel — The Economics of Sports Stadium

John Stossel is back to discuss sports stadiums (mega events) and why their subsidies aren’t worth the investments from an economic standpoint. Along with economist, JC Bradbury, Stossel investigates the counterfactual to the claim that stadiums and mega events will become an economic boom to cities and states.

Prison Break — What is Game Theory?

In the re-boot of Prison Break, we look at how game theory impacts the decisions made by Michael Scofield. It starts with the idea that players in the game are focused on self-interest even when it comes at the expense of other players in the game. The setup is described as a one-shot game where players focus on themselves with no future implications.

Ron White — Best Response

Ron White, in They Call Me Tater Salad, discusses an interaction with a fan who wanted him to know that it’s illegal to shoot someone in the back regardless of what crime they’ve committed against you. Ron quickly points out that you could just shoot them in the leg in order to get them to turn around, which means that the optimal strategy is to never turn around.

Jeff Dunham — Interest in Immigration Policy

In his 2007 special, Spark of Insanity, ventriloquist Jeff Dunham brings his trust “side stick” Jose JalapeƱo on stage to discuss immigration. Jeff decides to ask how Jose feels about the increased presence of National Guard agents along the Mexico/US border, but Jose notes that he isn’t too concerned about it. Peanut quickly points on that Jose isn’t worried because Jose is already in the country. Increased presence of border protection doesn’t do much to curtail illegal immigrants already in the country.

John Stossel — Spontaneous Order

In this Stossel in the Classroom segment, John Stossel analyzes political promises and looks at how government intervention actually can harm business. A good portion of the video focuses on how the invisible hand dictates much of what we see occurring in our lives and how centrally planned economies like the Soviet Union break down.

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