Today on Facebook, I was lamenting my life, as usual:
This comes from my rigorous economic analysis of the recent MTV phenomenon Jersey Shore, which I have been studying every Thursday night at 10:00 pm EST. The cast members, who, in real life, were working at jobs such as assistant gym manger (The Situation), a DJ (Pauly D) and a receptionist (Snookie), are now earning a reported $10,000 per appearance, plus security and transportation. Meanwhile, the only thing I get per appearance at my parents’ house is a thorough questioning on why Mr. B and I are not having kids yet.
STOP. Are you reading this, having never watched Jersey Shore? Here’s everything you need to know.
Back to the economic phenomenon of increased demand for these cast members. How does this happen? An astute student of economics breaks it down:
In December after the show began airing E! Online reports appearance fees of about $7500 per person for The Situation and DJ Pauly D, $2000 plus transportation for Snooki, and about $3500 per person for JWOWW, Vinny, or Ronnie.
Now there is a limited supply of Jersey Shore cast members, just 7 (not including Angelina, who ended up being an inferior good). As with normal consumer goods, with a limited supply the price will increase as the scarcity effect occurs when demand increases. Flash forward to January, when the infamous Snooki getting punched in the face at the club scenario occurs. According to Perez Hilton, Snooks now takes in $10,000 per appearance after the assault! That is 5 times more than her original fee.
and the post goes on to outline why Snooki was economically elastic after being punched at a club (meaning that as her price changes, demand changes as well, as opposed to an inelastic good like gasoline, for which demand doesn’t change too much based on price.)
What have we learned here?
1. There needs to be less of me so that I am more in demand for all the jobs I fulfill: consultant, wife, writer, unpregnant daughter, friend, and Edy’s Fruit Bar consumer. How can I atomize myself so that people will pay me to appear at not only clubs, but also in my own living room, my computer, and at the Giant grocery store near my house? I think I will start by informing Mr. B that I will now start appearing in The Kitchen only on certain nights after 10:00 pm for Happy Hour and will only cook on demand. Also, there will be techno.
2. Something violent needs to happen to me so that I will emerge into a national sensation and start going on shows with Michael Cera and Rachael Ray.
3. I need to stop watching this show and go on with my normal life.