I hear it different versions of it often. “We used to _______ and now we Keep up with the Kardashians,” “This was before we had The Kardashians,” “Let’s do less of Keeping up with the Kardashians and more of ____”…and the like.
It seems The Kardashians have become a benchmark for the deterioration of society. Things are bad, for example, people spend time watching a materialistic, talentless rich family in their everyday life. While I won’t spend time trying to convince you that you ought spend time “keeping up with the Kardashians,” I will explain to you why you should leave alone people who do.
- They Create Value
We could say a lot to question the values and morals of the K family. I wouldn’t condone their lifestyle. But the accusation that they are talentless and are famous for being famous falls flat. They create value. They do. They have clothing lines, stores, modeling contracts, TV shows, and pretty much cover every sect of the entertainment industry. It may not create value for you or me, but they create value for enough people to make millions are acquire a huge audience. If you’re a lover of free markets especially, you must understand that things you don’t like that create value, create value without you.
- Anything with an Audience Creates Value
You may argue that what they do isn’t valuable, so it doesn’t create value. But value is subjective, and the Kardashian services do something for someone all the time. This is true for all kinds of things. I often joke about my hatred for Pepsi products. I can joke all I want, but Pepsi does serve a large community of people, and they don’t care that I don’t approve. They have a target audience, and they target well. The same goes for music, clothing styles, and architecture..etc. People often joke that my preferred rap song choices aren’t real “music.” But, with the free range of commercialism, Lil Uzi and Fetty Wap are famous and wealthy for a reason. They’re entrepreneurs. It’s not a forced market. They’ve quite literally earned their place.
- You can Influence Markets with your Opt Out
If enough people say “no” to a product or service, the market will cease to exist. Your small influence can be refusing to watch or buy. My family does this often when we are morally opposed to core concepts of artists, tv shows, or sponsorships. For example, I haven’t had a Girlscout cookie in over five years. I know people still demand them, but I can personally refuse and join a movement to reduce demand as I choose. You can too. Many do this in marketplaces for products that have undesirable, hurtful outcomes such as cigarettes and porn. A campaign successfully took Duck Dynasty off the air temporarily, and reaction to scandal took 19 Kids and Counting out of the marketplace. If you think something is hurting society in a material way, you have every right to campaign against it. Some may say you have a duty to it. However, a subjective dislike is a bad benchmark for the dilapidation of society.
And so, I’ll leave Pepsi alone if you leave alone our friends who watch E! Television in their free time. Deal?
Pro Tip: You won’t get more dates with a pompous air over your own tastes 😊