Lion of the Blogosphere

Kylie Jenner to become first social-media billionaire

I don’t mean becoming a billionaire by creating a social media site, like Mark Zuckerberg, I mean becoming a billionaire by being famous on social media.

According to news reports, Kylie Jenner, 20 years old, is worth $900 million. She become so rich from hawking cosmetics and other stuff on social media.

How does this fit into Ayn Rand’s theories? Is Kylie Jenner a value creator just like Hank Rearden?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 16, 2018 at 1:31 PM

Posted in Economics, Wealth

42 Responses

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  1. Value is subjective, obviously people who follow this character on social media think she creates value, because they spend time following her. And the people who hire her to advertise obviously also think she creates value, because they hire her.

    Don’t you think entertainment has value? You watch TV and read books, so you certainly do. This Kardashian creates value for her fans in the way the creators of Northern Exposure creates value for you.

    Advertising also creates value by conveying information and connecting producers and consumers. You enjoyed Northern Exposure, so whatever person or mechanism alerted you to the existence of Northern Exposure creates value for you.

    Does this Kardashian pick and choose products to hawk which she thinks her fans will like? Then she is creating value the way a person who edits a periodical or anthology creates value, by finding articles or stories that are likely to appeal to a particular audience.

    Value is subjective, what is valuable to one guy has no value to another. To me your blog is valuable, more valuable than the recent soccer extravaganza. To others, the sports event created more value. Just because you don’t see the value in this Kardashian’s product doesn’t mean nobody does.


    July 16, 2018 at 1:54 PM

    • This is the wrong answer. It’s a negative-sum value transference activity.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 16, 2018 at 2:02 PM

      • You are saying some value has been destroyed by people watching this person and purchasing items she recommends?


        July 16, 2018 at 2:04 PM

      • Everybody competing to become famous on Instagram instead of doing value-creating work, that’s negative sum, yes.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 16, 2018 at 3:42 PM

      • From Britannica: “The term negative-sum game describes situations in which the total of gains and losses is less than zero, and the only way for one party (Kylie Jenner) to maintain the status quo is to take something from another party (Lion of the Blogosphere).”

        Murray Head

        July 16, 2018 at 2:45 PM

      • Value transference also has a value, without it all the things with physical value will not move from one hand to another. You might say that the “merchants” are profiting more than the creators but that is how it was always. Apparently being a good merchant is a rarest commodity and people are willing to pay for it more than paying the engineer who created the cosmetics. Not many people can be famous and push products like not too many people can be excellent soccer stars and win game, that’s why they are getting paid so much.


        July 16, 2018 at 6:03 PM

    • Yup.

      That all said, I don’t buy pure libertarian economics. But the success of people like the Kardashian’s show that capitalism is what it is.


      July 16, 2018 at 2:48 PM

      • You’re a big proponent of genetic determinism and dispute the notion of free will. Genetic determinism and the absence of free will imply that value is not subjective.


        July 17, 2018 at 1:28 AM

    • Is everybody competing to have a successful TV show or theatrical movie instead of growing potatoes by the score also “negative sum?” I understand you hate or envy this chick, but why is she worse than every other person on TV or the silver screen?


      July 16, 2018 at 4:41 PM

    • Value isn’t subjective. Just consider drug addicts or kids who hate going to school. We don’t pretend that their subjective thoughts, feelings, opinions are good assessments of value. Why should people who consume this stuff on social media be considered to be any different from drug addicts or dumb kids, especially when so many of them probably are in fact dumb kids and people who do drugs?


      July 17, 2018 at 1:40 AM

      • The fact that you disagree with some people’s assessments is not evidence that value is objective and absolute and can be measured like we measure the average distance between the Earth and the Moon or the average height of the American adult male. If value is objective, how do you measure it and why does every person make idiosyncratic judgements?


        July 17, 2018 at 7:55 AM

  2. Kylie Jenner is today what Paris Hilton was ten years ago, a ditzy floozy who happens to be very financially successful but a ditzy floozy nonetheless. You have to remember both women had the benefit of being connected to wealthy and connected families to start off with. Btw I’d always thought Kylie looked like a Bollywood actress and to test my belief, I ran a picture of her through the “Celebs Like Me” site and sure enough all the matches were Bollywood actresses.


    July 16, 2018 at 2:21 PM

    • They are two very different people. Paris Hilton was a highly popular New York socialite who distinguished herself in the NY Social Scene. She was beautiful and outgoing in a way that the other rich girls weren’t, and the fact she had a partner in crime (her sister Nicky) who could almost pass as a twin helped a lot two. Two hot, blonde, teenage twins partying in all the hottest clubs turn heads. Paris became the most famous girl in NYC (she regularly made Page Six as a 16 year old) and used that as a springboard to bigger things in LA. She’s a lot like both Trump and Howard Stern in that respect. All three became famous in NYC (the most important city in the world) first and then leveraged that fame for even broader exposure and success.

      Kylie Jenner was known primarily for being the ugly duckling of the Kardashian Klan. She is the anti-Paris. The reason she is a force in cosmetics sales is because she’s an ugly pasty white girl with bad skin who transformed herself (largely through extremely heavy use of make up) in to an Indian looking Bollywood chick. It isn’t like she is just some random Instagramer who sponsors make up because she’s famous. She genuinely wears as much makeup as a drag queen and is known specifically for her make up use. Her is a picture of her without make up for comparison:–kylie-jenner-surgery-kendall-jenner-without-makeup.jpg

      But while they really have nothing in common from a fame or personality standpoint, it is true that Kylie Jenner literally owes her fame to Paris Hilton. When Paris moved to LA, Nicky stayed behind in New York (eventually marrying a Rothschild) so Paris needed a new running partner. Her first choice was Nicole Ritchie (adopted child of Lionel Ritchie). They made a very good team and eventually stared in a Fox TV show that introduced the concept of Reality TV to the world but eventually Nicole got tired of being Paris’ second and Paris needed a new vaguely minority-looking minority girl to follow her around as a replacement for Nicole. Enter Kim Kardashian. Kim ultimately betrayed Paris by releasing a porno sex tape that made Kim a star in the black community, and Kim used her status as “Queen of the Blacks” to start her own reality TV show that made her entire family (including Kylie) famous. But none of that happens without Paris choosing her as the replacement for Nicole.


      July 16, 2018 at 11:41 PM

  3. Way back when, when the internet first became mainstream (1996ish) I remember wondering what impact it would have on advertising. I knew it would be huge but didn’t know what it would be. Well now we know: human beings have become advertisements. This is something Robert Crumb predicted long before the internet.


    July 16, 2018 at 2:32 PM

  4. I hate to go all mikeca wall-of-text filibuster on you, but per Wikipedia:

    ‘Kylie Jenner has starred in the E! reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians since 2007 and is the founder and owner of cosmetics company Kylie Cosmetics. In 2012 she collaborated with the clothing brand PacSun, along with her sister Kendall, and created a line of clothing, “Kendall & Kylie”. In 2015, Jenner launched her own cosmetics line called Kylie Lip Kits, which was renamed to Kylie Cosmetics the following year. She also released a mobile app that reached number one on the iTunes App Store.’

    tl;dr: She’s designed cosmetics, clothing, and a smartphone app.

    If Alyssa Rosenbaum would think these things are overpriced, then she was a Marxist after all.


    July 16, 2018 at 2:44 PM

    • OTHER people did all of that stuff, did all the real work, all she did is lend her name, and make some inconsequential “decisions”

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 16, 2018 at 4:01 PM

    • It’s amazing how many new cosmetics lines the “market” will bear.

      Rihanna started up a makeup line, Fenty Beauty. It’s quite successful.


      July 16, 2018 at 5:24 PM

  5. Randites/libertarians never understood that the “free market” allows bad people to sell poison to the masses. Humans as the rational actor/consumer is totally bogus.

    Humans of all intelligence are subject to constant weakness and temptation of degrading and destroying themselves. A proper society would limit the trash out there even if it violated the sacred “free market.”


    July 16, 2018 at 3:02 PM

    • ‘Does the player exist in any human endeavor who’s been known to resist sirens of fame and possession?’

      I have a working theory that for every LOTB post, there is a corresponding quote from chess.


      July 16, 2018 at 4:27 PM

    • If, as you say, humans are not rational actors, it is folly to concentrate power in the hands of a government so it can “limit the trash” because the people in government will not rationally discriminate between “trash” and what is “good” for people.


      July 16, 2018 at 4:36 PM

  6. The “kid billionaire” myth never dies.

    Remember when the Olson twins were “billionaires”?

    It’s just hype.


    July 16, 2018 at 3:10 PM

  7. Is it possible that she could become part of Trump’s trade war? Can the Chinese stop imports of Kylie Jenner?

    The good news is that she’ll soon be rich enough to buy the Vatican, and once on the throne of St Peter’s we’ll finally be able to fast forward to whatever demonic end-of-times Revelation insanity this is all leading towards, putting an end to this shit-show once and for all.

    prolier than thou

    July 16, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    • No, Jeff Bezos will buy the whole Kardashian family and make them his cleaning staff.


      July 16, 2018 at 5:42 PM

  8. kylie jenner is a maker and lion is a taker. i favor raising lion’s taxes and giving kylie jenner a negative tax rate so she can create more jobs.

    HBD tears

    July 16, 2018 at 4:14 PM

    • Of course this is meant to be ironic, but I’d remind you that all of the crappy cosmetics and clothes that she’s selling are made in China or someplace like that.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 16, 2018 at 4:25 PM

      • if you don’t want to pay higher taxes to give chinese people jobs then you’re a racist.

        HBD tears

        July 16, 2018 at 5:44 PM

      • Ross made me LOL,


        July 16, 2018 at 7:27 PM

      • So are Trumps MAGA hats and Ivankas clothing line.


        July 16, 2018 at 7:27 PM

  9. According to Wikipedia, on 02/01/18, 20 y/o Kylie Jenner gave birth out-of-wedlock to Stormi Webster. The father is black rapper 26 y/o Jaques Webster (performs under the name Travis Scott).

    Despite being a (self-made) 20 y/o billionaire, according to this blog’s definition, Kylie Jenner is a prole

    Smartest Woman on the Internet

    July 16, 2018 at 5:50 PM

  10. I say good for her. I like successful people. I also want to be successful in my own little way. This is what America is all about.


    July 16, 2018 at 6:12 PM

  11. What’s sobering is that WOMEN do the vast majority of consumer spending; at least 70% by some accounts. That means (along with their voting) that the whole damn society and culture becomes suited to women. The female mindset is not known for it’s frugality or long-term aspects.


    July 16, 2018 at 8:10 PM

  12. I’d also question whether she is anywhere near a billionaire. Forbes is notorious for inflating the wealth of people willing to cooperate with their lists (like Trump). As Lion points out, the true ultra rich do everything they can to hide their wealth and live unnoticed. Did Kylie really start her own cosmetics company from scratch, or did an existing generic cosmetics company simply offer her a percentage of profits to lend her name to their product? And if so, is Forbes simply conflating the profits (or even revenue) or that company with her personal wealth?


    July 16, 2018 at 11:50 PM

  13. O/T

    Can someone who knows Judaism please comment on what appears to be a very odd piece by Ron Unz?

    Frau Katze

    July 17, 2018 at 4:08 AM

    • ‘while his relationship with Israel’s tiny Communist Party was solely because they were the only group willing to stand up for the basic human rights issues that were his own central focus. ‘

      Yep, Israeli Communist Party that marched to the slogans: ‘Mother Russia, Father Stalin’ found those basic human rights in the USSR.

      Don’t waste a second of your time on Unz. He should be shot on sight.


      July 17, 2018 at 10:48 AM

    • Zionks, people need to read this; Unz says Jews are polytheists who sometimes pray to Satan.


      July 17, 2018 at 11:23 AM

      • I must have missed that in Hebrew school.

        I always assumed that the Catholics were the polytheists because they pray to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

      • Did they tell you in Hebrew school that gentiles have no souls but their blood is an essential component of rabbinical sorcery?

        This article by Unz is really something.


        July 17, 2018 at 1:08 PM

      • No, they never said that about gentiles. Also, never said anything about rabbis having supernatural or paranormal abilities.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 17, 2018 at 1:18 PM

  14. I’m proud to say that before this story came out, I’d never heard of her. You’re all prolier than I.

    July 17, 2018 at 6:55 AM

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