2012 Writing Contest: Economics on TV?
First Place Creative Writing
Ode to the Krusty Sponge
Business was booming at the Krusty Krab.
Demand for delicious Krabby patties was high.
Customers in line, all the tables full,
Mr. Krabs, the proprietor, was happy counting all of his dough.
SpongeBob was the master chef, specializing in grilling Krabby patties for which there was no substitute.
One day, a famous Bikini Bottom food critic came to dine.
He loved the Krabby patty, and loved the Sponge who made it, but he didn't like the atmosphere; suggesting Mr. Krabs "Sponge it up."
Mr. Krabs, who loves his money, was eager to give it a try.
In fact, Eugene Krabs was too eager, not recognizing the explicit and implicit costs involved in "Sponging it up."
A startled Squidward opened box after box of SpongeBob supplies—bibs, straws, coasters, napkins, even ice cubes—that the usually tight-fisted Mr. Krabs had ordered to "Sponge it up."
Then Mr. Krabs pulled his specialized fry-cook from the grill and made SpongeBob a new attraction.
His opportunity cost of having SpongeBob marketing was that he no longer could cook.
Mr. Krabs was blind to the unintended consequences of his changes.
So what did Mr. Krabs do?
Well, he saw the light, recognizing the increases in his variable costs were not profiting the business.
He raised his costs, but his demand and profits didn't rise.
"Sponging it up" was costing him customers and money.
He gave SpongeBob back his spatula, and watched as the customers returned to the Krusty Krab.
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