10.21.2008

Public Trading in Celebrity

Maybe you heard about the guy who invented those windshield wipers because of the recent movie, Flash of Genius. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I do this kind of thing all the time. In 1985, for example, when I was seven-years old, I invented headlights that would turn on when it got dark out after seeing a display at a local science museum in Lansing, MI. Of course, I didn't contact Saturn, so they stole my idea two years later.

My latest invention is nothing less than just-what-is-needed to save America's (and the world's) struggling economy. We need to turn rich people, celebrities, and politicians into publically traded commodities. Hear me out.

On this stock exchange, investors would purchase a certain amount of shares in a celebrity for a certain amount of gold. So let's say you see Miley Cyrus' career taking off over the next ten years. Her IPO (Initial Offering Price, for those of you who don't know anything about markets) might put her at 25 shares/oz. gold. All of the money that Miley takes in from investors would be hers to spend in R&D or advertising or however she decides (unless she sells the majority share of her stock) to spend it. If she lands a big contract or a movie deal, undoubtedly, her stock would go up. If she gets preggo, needless to say, her price would plummet.

Is Katt Williams' stock up?--maybe Chapelle's is down. Is Britney Spears' career over, and her shares without value?--or does she have enough name recognition to stage a major comeback in her forties after discovering Kundalini Yoga? Is it possible that, when we take the red-button and other powers away, Americans might start to love George Bush?--maybe now is a good time to buy stock in G.-Dub.

And, best of all, this could be an alternative to buying and trading and selling sports cards -- when I was nine, I bought 100 rookie cards of Boston Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell. It cost me $25.00, but I thought he was going to be the next Ted Williams. If he had had the career I expected him to have, I might be rich right now. Instead, Mike Greenwell turned out to be the next Larry Herndon, and I'm not sure I've broken even on my initial investment. Tiger Woods busts his knee?--his stock plummets. In other words, young men (and creepy old guys) have been playing the market on athletes for a long time -- why not play with gold instead of paper cards that can burn when your dad's sister leaves an attic light on in 1966 when your dad heads off for college (Dad guesses there were at least eight 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle cards in there before the attic caught fire!).

So... how great an idea is this? America's economy is in shambles -- our young people are dumber than young people in any other modernized country in the world. We can't manufacture, we suck at borrowing and lending, we're running out of good real-estate. But we got famous people, and the world would love to play in this kind of stock market. I mean, should I quit everything and be the guy in charge of all this?

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