by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Nicole Russell explains in a Federalist essay that Taylor Swift’s singing success can teach us a lot about capitalism.
How do I love Taylor Swift? Let me count the ways. She writes upbeat music that triggers romantic nostalgia, she gives generously to her fans, and she lays the smackdown on super-successful companies who try to implement socialist policies on the sly.
What’s more, she does it in a straightforward manner, full of taste and grace. Behold the ways Swift makes me think she’s really a supply-side economist—nay, a pro-business-loving capitalist—in real life and this whole superstar musician thing is just, like, a side-gig.
1. Taylor Swift Is Generous
Swift is regularly and generously philanthropic with her time and money—which is a predominant feature of free-market societies compared with socialist ones, as well as free-market supporters versus antagonists. Swift recently started her “1989” world tour. Not only does she perform several sets for several hours, she invites her best friends—who happen to be famous, like Nick Jonas, Lorde, Heidi Klum, Jason Derulo, and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team—to sing, dance, and hang out with her on stage. In sharing her stage, concert-goers get two shows for the price of one. Fans love it. …
… 2. Taylor Swift Knows Her Worth
Swift recently penned a note via her Tumblr: “To Apple, Love Taylor.” In it, she said she was going to withhold her album, “1989,” from their new streaming service, Apple Music. She opined about Apple Music’s decision to offer a free three-month trial to new subscribers. That didn’t bother her. What did was that “Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months.” She found this to be “shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”
Immediately, Swift pointed out something that sounds like common sense. “We know how astronomically successful Apple has been and we know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period…even if it is free for the fans trying it out.” While touting Apple’s incredible success—Forbes estimates Apple is worth $742 billion—Swift says the musical efforts of especially up-and-coming artists are still worth something.
Read on for three more examples of Swift’s understanding of the morality of capitalism. This observer might add a sixth item: Swift has created a useful anthem for those forced to deal with the crazed loons (“haters”) of the hard left.