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Seinfeld Economics: The Pledge Drive (PBS)

by Linda Ghent

A free rider is a person who chooses to receive the benefits of a "public good " or a "positive externality " without contributing to paying the costs of producing those benefits.

A public good is a good that is non-excludable and not rival in consumption.


Seinfeld: The Pledge Drive (PBS)

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Jerry is hosting a pledge drive for a local PBS station. His grandmother calls in to talk to him about some checks she's written him that bounced. Kramer receives her call, and asks, "You listen to the station, don't you? Don't be a freeloader!” He then announces that Jerry's grandmother, who is on a fixed income, has donated $1500 to the station. Broadcast television is a pure public good—nonrival, nonexcludable, and with no commercials to fund its programs, relies on voluntary contributions to survive. No wonder it's always on the verge of collapse!

from Seinfeld, Season 6 (1994)
Creator: Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
Posted by Linda Ghent