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Labor Principles

Outsourcing a Task

There’s a big mess in the backroom, but Mateo is on the phone trying to secure Celine Dion tickets. Garret tries to recommend hiring someone from an app to wait in line for Mateo, but Mateo reverses it and suggests that the two of them hire someone to clean the mess for them. They are outsourcing their jobs to someone who is willing to do the job for less while they focus on the things they want to do.

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Principles

Black Market Medication

After coming down with an ear infection, Mateo reaches out to the pharmacist to see if he can get some medicine to help. He doesn’t have enough money to get a prescription, so he’s hoping he can bypass that system and go directly to the pharmacist. Tate subtly emphasizes that pills get miscounted all the time, implying that he can sell Mateo some drugs in exchange for cash. Black market transactions are hard to track, but they still represent an economic transaction where one person has something that another covets.

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Principles

Where is the Thumb?

In an effort to achieve the perfect day with no mistakes, Amy assigns employees to store areas where they are most competent. After realizing the normal deli workers aren’t at the store today, Amy and Marcus start working in the deli. Amy asks Marcus to work the meat slicer, assuming that’s his comparative advantage. It turns out he’s not very good at that.

Categories
Labor Principles

Glenn Works Two Jobs

Glenn hasn’t been able to find a replacement for his assistant manager, so he takes on the both roles for the day. Glenn struggles to get everything done in one day and suggests that he may have to stop sleeping. Even though he’s doubled his effort, his output hasn’t doubled; it has diminished. At a certain point in the production function, additional workers are not as productive as the ones before them. For Glenn, this would be represented by the additional hours that he’s worked in the day. Specialization allows workers to focus their time on tasks that they are good at, like setting schedules or ordering products. Just because a worker can do all of the functions, doesn’t mean they should do them all.