Friday Funny: Zoning Out the Kardashians

Richard Florida uses the Kardashian clan's takeover of the North Miami community of San Souci for a lesson in urban economics and "negative externalities."
November 30, 2012, 2pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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It seems the world is getting pretty tired of the Kardashians, the family of sisters (add one brother, one controlling mother, and one face-lifted Olympic gold medalist) who are famous for marrying professional basketball players, making sex tapes, and opening clothing stores. This situation is especially acute in the Miami neighborhood of San Souci, where two of the sister are filming their reality television series. 

"According to reports in the Miami press, San Souci has been less than enchanted with its new neighbors — or more precisely, with the circus that comes with them: not just family members, friends, production crews, stylists, publicists, and other assorted hangers-on and sycophants, but the huge crowds of fans and paparazzi."

"Here," says Florida, "we have the first basic lesson in urban economics — 'negative externalities.' Negative externalities are the unpriced consequences of certain behaviors or decisions, such as buying a home downwind from a smoke-belching factory or next door to a rowdy bar — or granting a reality show the right to film within a community." He turns to economist Todd Gabe for recommendations for how a community could keep out the Kardashian, and prevent such externalities. 

Not all in North Miami seem to be upset by their presence, however. As Florida notes, "[i]n an ironic turn of events, the city recently gave the sisters "Keys to the City" in anticipation of production revenues, according to The Huffington Post."

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Published on Friday, November 30, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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