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Incentives in "Can You Spare a Dime" - SpongeBob SquarePants
by Dirk Mateer `

This scene explores the plight of the homeless. SpongeBob invites Squidward into his home after he loses his job. He offers him his bed, feeds him, and waits on his every need. This act of kindness is repaid by freeloading. What was supposed to be a short stay until Squidward could get a job ends up being many months. Squidward likes it so much at SpongeBob's house that he doesn't even look for work! This nicely illustrates what happens when private or public charities are too generous. It turns out that the optimal amount of assistance is just enough to help someone meet their basic needs without affording them any luxuries. At that point, the correct incentives are created for the recipient to continue to look for work in order to better themselves, unlike what we see in this clip.

This Commentary is related to the following Clips:
Incentives in "Can You Spare a Dime" - SpongeBob SquarePants by Created by Stephen Hillenburg, Written by Aaron Springer, C.H. Greenblatt, Merriwether Williams (2002) Squidard quits his job and then begins to mooch off of SpongeBob.