I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age it seems I am not qualified to enter into that conversation and even if I was, I would not be entitled to an opinion. In any case it is not the talent that has me scratching my head, it is the fan frenzy.
What are prime ministers Justin Trudeau (Canada) and Anthony Albanese (Australia) doing lobbying for more Swift concerts? The Daily Mail “Albanese” headline uses the right word to describe this – cringeworthy. Don’t these guys have better things to do than lobby for the Swifties? But I guess every vote counts.
There is no denying that Swift is a mega-star. Consider the ERAS tour currently underway. By the time it ends in 2024, she will have performed 104 times. According to concert data tracker Pollstar, the tour will have grossed over US$1.4 billion. Some other eye-watering stats as at June 23, 2023:
Canada will have to wait until November 2024 when Taylor brings her tour to Toronto. She will perform six times between the fourteenth and the twenty-third. Some statistics:
Many of the concert goers will travel to Toronto and pay inflated prices for hotel rooms because of the influx of fans. So let’s say two tickets at $3,000 each with airfare, hotel, and food – $8,000 / $10,000 for three hours of rapture! Others, it seems will make their way to Toronto spending thousands just to swoon in the adjacent parking lots or in Maple Leaf Square.
I really don’t know. I shouldn’t care. But the pervasive sense of entitlement offends me. I struggle with athlete’s salaries. Over US$13.0 million for a scowling, gloomy hockey player who has won nothing and disappears in the playoffs? Compare that to US$13.0 million gross for a show that most real fans cannot afford and even that seems more reasonable.
And what about the fans, the enablers? They are happy to shell out $4,000 to $5,000 for the Swift experience but moan about inflation, the cost of housing, and rising food costs. Download, buy the vinyl, have Swift parties, get the merch, be a fan but make rational spending decisions.
.……..It’s astounding how little our stale economic-policy debate (top-down versus bottom-up, high-tax versus low-tax) has changed over the past few decades. And how little it matters.
In reality, politicians have had even less control over this inflation cycle than most: prices are coming down as the shock of the war in Ukraine, subsides, and the pandemic disappears further from view. But it’s not yet where we would like it to be: US consumer prices rose 3.2 per cent year-on-year in July, lower than analysts had expected but nevertheless up slightly again from June. Inflation over the past few years has been a huge problem and not only in the US. It’s less a story of government policy than it is about central banks, interest rates, foreign wars and consumer habits.
Of course, this reality has never stopped politicians from taking credit when times are good or getting punished by voters when times are bad. But, really, we should know better.
So what is the link to the above excerpt from The Monocle Minute! Consumer habits! Ridiculously priced entertainment choices are just the tip of the iceberg!
I have lived through inflationary periods before. They all felt different than this time around. Consumers reacted. Pervasive conspicuous consumption slowed to a virtual standstill. Airports emptied – well, if you travelled this summer …. airports are mad-houses. I know that I am over-simplifying! I know there is some genuine inflation-induced hardship but not enough to stop the ongoing consumer tsunami fuelled by a sense of entitlement. We should know better.
I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]
Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]
We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie and Norry Wilson. So, we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]
Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]
Many Viennese went from hot bedding to superblocks overnight. Could they even imagine an apartment complex 1000 metres long built along two streets with even more massive landscaped courtyards? Could they conceive of 1400 apartment units built to house 5000 people on 56,000 square metres or 38 acres of land. Or a vertical build-out that […]
Vienna had been a poor city even before the First World War. “Normal” housing arrangements meant six to eight people sharing one room and a kitchen. Then, in early 1919, just after the Armistice, the cost of living tripled in two months. Bed lodgers could no longer afford their 8-hours a day in a shared […]