California's Great Hope -- The Kardashian Stimulus Plan

Reality television is nothing less than captivating. That’s the brutal truth. Only in America could there be entire shows devoted to someone buying clothes for someone else. (In most houses, the personal shopper is called Mom.) But should there ever be an Academy Award for “Best Caricature of a Real Life” on cable television, surely the Kardashians would win for 2011.

In a breathtaking display of marketing genius, the Kardashians are reportedly ready to turn their humble family wedding (a mere $20 million affair) into a cash cow, ready for prime time viewing on E.

Media buzz is that much of America will tune in into watch coverage this week of the nuptials as people have learned to love Kim through her struggles – with beauty, fame, fortune, and nary a wardrobe malfunction in sight. Truly she represents the common man, Hollywood style, growing up the well-heeled child of Kris Jenner, with lovely sisters and sidekicks whose sing-song support of each other is lampooned regularly – but with a gentle smile – on “Saturday Night Live.”

While spending a small fortune, Kim and her crew will reportedly make money off of the wedding production, sale of photos and even from purchases of her limited edition perfume, Love. It would seem the Beatles were wrong; in honor of Kim’s wedding, you CAN buy me Love.

But as Kim prepares to wed NBA player Kris Humphries, sporting her 20.5-carat diamond engagement ring, consider the possibility that not only will the Kardashians singlehandedly make the idea of the profitable wedding every father’s dream, they may do more for the economy of the faltering state of California than all of Barack Obama’s so-called stimulus dollars.

And that’s a good thing, because, as every woeful business analyst can attest, the American economy is in a coma.

President Obama spent roughly $800 billion to hold down unemployment and stimulate the economy into something resembling, say, China. Now he’s trying to hold on to his job, like a lot of other Americans.

Bloomberg business news recently reported, “Confidence among U.S. consumers plunged in August to the lowest level since May 1980, adding to concern that weak employment gains and volatility in the stock market will prompt households to retrench.”
Retrench – that’s economist code for, “I ain’t buyin’ nothin.’” Meanwhile, all the smart politicians in the Obama administration – without any real world business experience – concur with each other that the way to get people to spend more money is to take their money and give it to Washington, D.C. to spend for them … because that’s worked so well in the past.

And those bureaucrats can run up a tab. Americans for Tax Reform reported recently that Americans work a full 224 days a year to pay for local, state and federal government spending and regulations. 

But let’s get real. In this consumer-driven economy, the Kardashian extravaganza may do more for real people in California than the pitiful fizzy-lifting-drink of Wonka magic that passed for a failed economic boost out of Washington, D.C.

Sure, Kim may have to make do with a $20,000 wedding cake styled like England’s royal newlyweds, a Vera Wang wedding dress, and wedding invitations that cost $250 each.

She and future hubby Kris may have to suffer through an evening with Hollywood A-Listers, including Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. They may be forced to endure a fabulous honeymoon.

But there is nothing un-American about a family going overboard on a wedding, spending whatever they – and corporate sponsors – are willing to shell out.

What is most impressive about the industrious Kardashians is that they exemplify the economy-boosting code that you’ve got to spend money to make money, and somehow, they got other people to put their cash on the line for a wedding that will entertain more than just close relatives. Never afraid of hard work, they’ve turned their personal lives into a product-placement paradise. Some might find it tacky but there is much to admire in their determination to see their work yield real profits – not fake economic forecasts.

Under the Kardashian stimulus plan, at the end of the day, real hair dresses, waiters, bakers, caterers, car rental companies, florists, jewelers, television networks and home shopping denizens among many others will receive a check for a job well done.

And as Kim and Kris’ guests throw gold dust, rather than rice, over the departing newlyweds, one can only hope that this real-world stimulus plan is the start of good things for the happy couple – and the great state of California.

If the Obama administration would take the bulls-eye off the wallets of Americans with jobs and resources, perhaps then the much maligned “millionaires and billionaires” of Hollywood could get back to the business of creating jobs and circulating resources in the economy. But not just yet. This weekend...they’ll be busy at Kim’s wedding.

Kristi Stone Hamrick is a media consultant, future mother of the bride and served as a bridesmaid 19 times.