Maria Andersen / Uncategorized

Keeping Up with the 1 Percent (Maria Andersen)

The Occupy Wall Streeters have 99 problems… and Kim Kardashian’s divorce is 1 of them?

Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg shared her letter to Kim with The Huffington Post:

“Dear Ms. Kardashian… I thought you might want to know about Occupy Wall Street. Basically, thousands of people are protesting across the country because… well, there’s no delicate way to say this, but… because of you, Kim.”

“We are the 99%! We paid hefty, college tuitions and made something of ourselves. What did you ever do Kim?!” they might ask. While the 99 percent was off completing their liberal arts gen-ed requirements, Kim was befriending Paris Hilton, leaking a sex tape and starring on a reality show.

The 99 percent urges Kim to get off her botoxed butt and get a “real” job; “like the rest of us”. How is it fair, that most graduates can’t find work to pay off $75,000-plus student debt, while Kim Kardashian, an uneducated Armenian goddess, cries over her misplaced $75,000 earrings? Well, it’s actually very fair.

The 99 percent chose to go to college and Kim chose to become a socialite. Kim already has a job that pays for her life choices (diamond studs included). In fact, she has many. We have Model KimPerfumer KimT.V. Star KimFashion Designer Kim… even Miami Beach Kim and Princess Bride Kim. Kim was paid $15 million for a 2-hour wedding special on E! It would be unjust to label Kim as an evil, money hungry capitalist who is superficial for turning her own wedding into a business venture. In reality, she is simply an opportunistic, profit-maximizing entrepreneur.

Granted, the legitimacy of these professions may be questionable, right? The girl is earning millions for simply living her life. “I’m a hardworking nurse at the public hospital. I work hard until the early morning hours. What does Kim do while I’m hooking up IVs at 3am — she’s out dancing and drinking! And she gets paid more than me? I’m the 99%!” Does Kim even work hard for her paychecks? That depends on how arbitrarily we define “hard work”. Late hours, stress and duress are all part of both the nurse’s and Kim’s respective job descriptions. Hypothetically, if Kim had remained locked up in her L.A. tower forever, and the world had never caught glimpse of her jet-black mane, she wouldn’t have earned a dime. Obviously, it took some (however minimal is up for debate) effort on her part to earn an income.

We can’t objectively comment on the quality of Kim’s work efforts. All we can derive from Kim’s wealthy earnings is this economic fact: her outputs must be valued at a higher price than one nurse’s medical efforts. The media and public are investing time and money into Kim; no one is investing into the nurse to the same extent. Perhaps, Kim’s market is simply larger than the nurse’s ward. Price reflects demand. The higher price tag on Kim’s efforts is reflective of how much her consumers value her work. Her earnings don’t tell us a thing about the quality of Kim; rather, it tells us a whole lot about the population who’s keeping her in business. Kim, and her bank account, would be nothing without her fans.

The existence of Kim’s products is proof that there is a market for her Kardashian brand. If the world was truly sick of Kimberly, her fragrance could not be found on the shelves; her high cheekbones would not be dominating tabloid covers. Kim is a socialite. Her job is to fabulously exist. She is staying in business because we, the consumers, are still demanding her existence. Her shenanigans keep her earning a comfortable living, it keeps consumers entertained, and it keeps the media in business. Kim’s “selfish” habits are keeping sectors of the economy in motion. Her choice to be in the entertainment business has made many others better off. We don’t need to ask Obama to create jobs — Kim’s fantasy wedding created many! As the The Wall Street Journal rightfully put it:

But it’s not just the celebrities who economically benefit. The tabloids, gossip TV shows and websites that track celebrities’ every move support thousands of jobs. The E! wedding extravaganza of Kim and Kris Humphries attracted more than 5 million viewers. Their divorce has been reported in thousands of different places — and the story broke less than 48 hours before I wrote this. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, Peoplemagazine sold 1.5 million copies of the Kardashian wedding issue, an estimated 31 percent more than their usual circulation.

The 99 percent wants equality. They may cry: “Kim Kardashian is a human being just like the rest of us! She shouldn’t be allowed to waste money on three Vera Wang wedding gowns while homeless people go hungry!” These celebrities are earning the most and are saving most of the sums for themselves. True, but that does not make them selfish brats. Despite 99 boisterous opinions, these celebrities have 100 percent right to their earnings — it is their property and they can do with it what they want.

Sometimes, generous celebrities voluntarily share their wealth. The Dream Foundation confirmed yesterday that Kim donated the majority of her wedding gifts to the Foundation. That’s right, overindulgent Kim Kardashian is being philanthropic. In the meantime, the 99 percent is sitting, waiting, wishing, for a few spare bucks to hit the bottom of their carved water jugs. “Kim, come make it rain on our plastic tarps! That’s the least you can do; after all, you barely pay taxes!” Listen up 99 percent: if you really want to solicit donations, be nice to Kim and give her a real incentive to care about you. Prove yourselves to be a true, hopeless, basket case and maybe she’ll donate to your cause next time.

When Kim is done crying over lost diamond earrings, she doesn’t go running to Step Daddy Jenner, begging for a new pair. She gets right back up, grabs her own wallet and buys herself a new pair. The 99 percent, on the other hand, will likely waste a few more weeks whining in their tents, begging Uncle Sam for help. In the meantime, Kim and the rest of the hardworking 1 percent have work to do. Let the 99 percent eat cake.

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