Categories
Principles

Employee of the Month

Glenn approaches Mateo with a request to not award Mateo with employee of the month for a 6th straight month. Glenn recognizes that Kelly may want to transfer stores because she feels unappreciated. Glenn thinks that giving Kelly the award, she may feel better about her situation at the store. Pareto improvements mean no one is made worse off by an action, but Mateo points out that Glenn is taking something from him and giving it to Kelly. This redistribution is common with the use of taxes to redistribute income to others in a society. While not Pareto-improving, it can be used to improve equity.

Categories
Supply & Demand

PB&J Candles

While shopping, Jerry recommends getting a candle for their nightstand. He finds a peanut butter scented candle and recommends it to Sandra, who apparently already found a jelly scented candle. Peanut butter and jelly are often used as the classic example of complements in consumption. The price of one item is inversely related to the demand for the other item. Are there other candle scents that could complementary?

Categories
Principles

Toxic Correlation

After realizing that Cloud 9 may be a toxic work environment, Glenn is having a hard time figuring out how to fix the situation. As a backstory, Kelly has been trying to transfer stores, but Glenn won’t let her. Jonah helps Kelly by convincing Glenn that Kelly is actually the reason the store has become so toxic. Jonah is hoping that Glenn will transfer Kelly to a different store. At first he doesn’t believe it, but Jonah is successful in getting Glenn to believe in Kelly as the cause rather than the corollary.

Categories
Labor

New Key Fob System

A new key fob system makes cart collection easier. Automation allows for the replacement of routine tasks, like collecting carts or greeting customers. This new technology could make current workers more productive and actually increase sales for the store if the workers take their new time to improve customer satisfaction.

Categories
Externalities

Cover Your Cough

Negative externalities occur when someone is imposing external costs on others, but not taking into account those costs when making their decision. In this brief scene, a patient in a clinic is shown coughing in front of a poster reminding people to cover their cough. When people are sick, the infection may be spread through the air, which means people choosing not to cover their coughs may be causing others to get sick.

Categories
Consumer Choice & Behavioral

Gifts from the Registry

Jonah sets up a baby registry to help Amy afford some of the things she’ll need for her newborn. Her coworkers are mad they weren’t invited to the fake baby shower, so the store throws Amy (and others) a baby shower. After getting through the gift portion, Amy thanks everyone for the gifts, but notes that some of the gifts she received were garbage. Only the car seat was a gift that she actually wanted and was the purpose of setting up the baby registry. Gift giving is often considered inefficient because people don’t fully know what the other person’s willingness to pay is for an item. Had Amy been given cash, she could have purchased items that she valued.

Categories
Inequality Labor

Cloud 9 Budgeting

After requesting a raise from the district manager, Amy now has to sit through a financial planning workshop with her boss and the other employees. The employees quickly point out that the budget Glenn is presenting doesn’t have line items for things like food, childcare, or healthcare. The clip ends with Glen suggesting that the employees seek government assistance to support their low income.

Categories
Labor

Discrimination a la Becker

While Amy is a bit confused with her new love interest, her coworkers are debating the necessary requirements to be considered racist. In Becker’s discrimination model, firms are assumed to have preferences for one group of workers relative to others. In the taste for discrimination model, firms demand more workers from a preferred group. Dina nicely points out, “Isn’t having a preference the definition of racism?”

Categories
Principles

Purposeful Injury

After Mateo is injured on the job, other employees share how much they were paid to not sue the corporate office. When Marcus cut his finger, he was given $500, but Sandra was given $1,000 for her injury. Marcus then decides to injure himself so that he can collect more money to help finance his new business (see clip above). The corporate office paid employees to sign a liability waiver as an incentive to avoid lawsuits, but now employees are trying to injure themselves for the money.

Categories
Principles

Threat of Punishment

Dina and Glenn discuss Amy and Jonah’s new affair, but Amy points out that people behave differently when they’re being monitored. While Glenn believes most people behave appropriately, Dina notes that if you “take away the threat of punishment and you’d be horrified at what people admitted to doing.”