Question: What’s the difference between a Federal Jobs Creation Program and Kim Kardashian’s wedding?
Answer: Kim Kardashian’s wedding creates jobs.
I have no idea who Kim Kardashian is. I say this advisedly. It might sound like a boast. After all, I could’ve googled her before I started writing, but I didn’t, so maybe I’m proud of my ignorance. Be that as it may, the simple fact is I’m completely clueless as to why Kim Kardashian is a celebrity.
Thus when I asked my wife why helicopters were buzzing round and round above my house this past Saturday, I was not terribly enlightened at being told that Kim Kardashian was getting married somewhere in the neighborhood. And later, at a dinner party that night when someone remarked on the constant and irritating presence of the choppers, I sounded more knowing than I was when I said, “Must be Kim Kardashian’s wedding.”
It was at this point someone at the party said scornfully, “That wedding cost ten million dollars! That’s obscene in these hard times with so many people suffering!”
Is it obscene? Really? Unless Kim Kardashian is famous for robbing banks, I don’t see why. Assuming she made her money honestly, then every dollar she has was given to her freely by a public who thought she was worth it. She, in turn, freely decided it would be worth it to her to spend that freely given money on her wedding. And because there was no force in operation other than free human desire — the public’s desire to see Kim Kardashian do whatever it is she does for a living and Kim Kardashian’s desire to get married in high style — every single dime spent on that wedding helped create a job — if by a job, we mean a task someone does because someone else wants or needs it done.
Consider it. No money was taken at gunpoint during the making of this wedding. No power was exerted over others. No jumped-up prince of a middle man decided what should or shouldn’t be eaten or drunk or spent or by whom. No useless government department was formed, taking capital out of the economy. No time was wasted by officious bureaucrats who don’t have any reason to do their job efficiently or well. Not at all. Kim, God bless her, wanted — I don’t know what — flowers, let’s say, by the thousands, and so Flora the Florist set to work providing them in return for her daily bread. Kim wanted a cake the size of the Ritz, or whatever, and Charlie the Chef got to work on that. Even the annoying helicopters were freely paid for by someone who, I guess, wanted aerial photos of the nuptials. And the photographers earned their keep because people who want to see the pics will freely buy whatever magazine they’re in.
In truth, the economy was more stimulated in my little neighborhood this weekend than it has been anywhere in the country during the entire Obama administration.
Free enterprise. It’s a beautiful thing. And it all works fine and dandy until power-hunger and pompous self-righteousness gum up the works. Until some duly elected fathead says, “No, no, Kim, I went to an Ivy League school and I know better than you do how you should spend your money.” Or, “No, no, Kim, I am the Compassionate and Wise and I know where the need for your money is greatest.” Or, “We all have to share the sacrifice, Kim, so give me your money to pay for the votes I bought with promises I can’t keep.” Or, “There comes a point when you have too much money, Kim, so you have to give some of yours to me.”
As long as human beings are free to pursue their desires restricted by nothing but the safety and freedom of their neighbors, there will be plenty of money and plenty of jobs. You may say it’s wrong for people to live like that — to live, I mean, as they please. You may say Kim Kardashian’s wedding was garish, for example, or that she should’ve given her money to charity instead or that the public shouldn’t make someone like Kim Kardashian rich in the first place.
But let me ask you this: Who the hell are you to say? Who the hell is anyone? You don’t like the way Kim Kardashian lives? Don’t live that way. I don’t. But I don’t tell anyone else whether or not they should.
The imposition of virtue by force is not virtue. And it is precisely that imposition — through government entitlements, through government-inspired bad loans, through government over-regulation, through government redistribution schemes — that has so badly damaged our nation’s freedom and economy.
Question: What’s the difference between the Obama presidency and Kim Kardashian’s marriage?
Answer: I hope Kim Kardashian’s marriage lasts.