Is Death An Economic Stimulus?


Kurt Bouwhuis, Mackinac Center Intern

“As the entire world mourns the death of Michael Jackson, many are celebrating the King of Pop’s unparalleled musical legacy. Following the news of Jackson’s sudden passing, Jackson songs and albums immediately begin climbing the sales charts at digital music stores. Over on iTunes, the current top five albums, and seven of the Top 10, are all Jackson releases, with The Essential Michael Jackson, Thriller and Off the Wall all leading the charge. The same goes for the Amazon MP3 store, where Jackson is listed as the service’s top-selling artist of the day. also documented the incredible jump in people on their service listening to Michael Jackson in the moments following Jackson’s death, with a peak of roughly 42,000 MJ songs being played on the service between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET yesterday.” –Source: Rolling Stone

I would like to start by saying the Rolling Stone is not in any way implying that Michael Jackson’s death has been a stimulus.  However, I’m sure there are economists out there who see this data and begin to dream up new stimulus policies.  In fact, there are many economists who beleive that wars stimulate the economy.

Unfortunately, neither Michael Jackson’s death or wars stimulate the economy more than a broken window.


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