Michael Jackson’s creditors have been victimized, and they “deserve” a taxpayer-funded bailout.
No, wait. Michael Jackson was victimized by “predatory” fans, managers, and concert promoters, and the surviving family “deserve” a bailout.
How do we apply the Obama era’s “economics of victimization” to the business debacle that is Michael Jackson? Right now, as the initial shock of his death has begun to fade, it appears that “the king” left this world owing people about $400 million.
I intend no insensitivity to Jackson‘s legacy, and I respect the amazing place he and his brothers holds in the history of entertainment. Long before I went to graduate school, and then worked my way up to being an Author, and a Columnist, and a Talk Show Host - once a long, long time ago, I (like Rush and Glenn Beck) was a music radio “disc jockey.” The release of the “Thriller” album, the Michael Jackson / MTV entertainment era, and the Jacksons’ historic “Victory” tour are all intertwined with my high school and college years, and my former career as a “deejay.“ Suffice it to say that I still know every beat and note of “Billie Jean” and “Beat It,” and I respect the fact that the Jacksons are “serious business.”
Yet while all these great, “historic” things are true about Michael Jackson, it’s also true that this one, individual human being so severely mismanaged his own life, business, and finances, that he died owing people almost half a BILLION dollars. And there are some things to be learned from this debacle.
For one, the behavior that seems to have led to Jackson’s personal financial disaster should suggest that similar behavior in the public sector could create a public financial disaster.
Michael Jackson apparently had a propensity to spend money he didn’t actually possess, and his recklessness will likely hurt his surviving family and closest business associates. That‘s sad, but at least the pain will likely be confined to his “inner circle.”
Unfortunately, our President and the majority of the U.S. Congress are also displaying “Jackson-like” behavior, spending money that they don’t actually possess. And to the extent that “public funds” are ever actually “possessed” by the President, those funds don‘t actually belong to the President anyway- - that money belongs to we, the people, and so does the debt that President Obama is accruing.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.