My B.S. in Economics is no match for fist pumping

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.

Vicki

8 thoughts on “My B.S. in Economics is no match for fist pumping

  1. We need to figure out our own reality show. Maybe it will be us listening to our mothers telling us everything that we’ve done wrong in a plaintive voice while our fathers drink vodka (it can be water. A theatre trick I picked up. This way, we get to keep the vodka).

  2. Thanks for reading and reposting my analysis. I’m glad at least one person found it amusing! Thankfully the show has ended and we can all return to normalcy on Thursday nights.

    Sidenote: It turns out Vinny is much more inelastic than the other cast mates. His opportunity cost for the show was much higher than being a receptionist or gym manager, since he apparently was planning on law
    school.

    http://perezhilton.com/2010-01-26-jersey-shores-vinny-heading-to-yale-or-harvard-law

    1. That’s right, I did see that! He is my hero because he seems so much more adjusted than all the other cast members. I wonder if this will up his chances for law school. I’m rooting for him.

  3. 1. I still don’t get what this reality is about. Why are they payed to show up, and why are they allowed to go home in between?
    2. I forgot. My son keeps interrupting.
    3. Ach, forget it. I’m cold. My kopf is seriously schmertzing for the third day in a row now and I need a snack.

    1. 1. They just finished shooting the first season and are now making promotional rounds to bars; bars get more people showing up when they come, so they get paid.
      2. I forgot too. My stomach keeps interrupting.
      3. SCHMERTZ!

  4. Your demand/supply problem can be addressed from either end.

    1. Decrease supply: take up a time-consuming hobby that requires you to be elsewhere for large amounts of time. This could be volunteering, crafting model airplanes, or plotting the demise of capitalism. The content is irrelevant, so long as it makes you unavailable for previously low-priced appearances. Such as coming home after work.

    2. Increase demand: get your mother-in-law’s chicken recipe and practice it. Become REALLY good at cooking at least that one dish. Then, offer to produce it on either a rare OR random schedule. Or both. (Further economic growth will require learning more recipes.) The same tactic can be applied to increase demand around potential grandparents by dropping hints about considering getting pregnant, needing to go buy a pregnancy test on the way home, etc.

    3. Simultaneously decrease supply and increase demand (NOT RECOMMENDED) for your writing by dying tragically young, thus making original works finite. :)

    1. I think this is the most thoughtful and thought-out situation that I could have thought of. I already have taken up web design but that’s an in-home activity. I think it’s time to start hitting Arabic classes hardcore.

      2. Ha! That makes me think it’s time to learn Mr. B’s grandma’s cake recipe. And telling my mom I have cake-baking cravings at 2 in the morning.

      3. It’s a known fact that all talented authors/artists die young, so I’m glad I haven’t become that tortured genius enough to carry this one out ;)

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