…Jay-Z has ditched the dollar in favor of the euro:
Pay attention as you watch the catchy new music video from the mega-star rapster Jay-Z, “Blue Magic”, and see if you can’t spot the product placement. It is not a fancy car that he is endorsing – although both his rides, a Rolls- Royce and soft-top Bentley, are plenty spiffy – but rather a currency – and it is not the dollar.
Like so many in the hip-hop genre, the song is a celebration of ostentatious wealth. But capturing the attention of commentators in this clip, shot in the glimmering, neon-lit canyons of New York City, are the repeated glimpses of flickering wads of €500 notes. Jay-Z has thus performed a currency defection: the dollar is not just down, it is out. The euro is the new bling.
It is only a music video, but Jay-Z, whose influence on pop culture is immense, may, wittingly or otherwise, be bringing America to what some pundits call the “point of recognition” – the moment when the droop of the dollar against other currencies ceases to be the preoccupation only of economists and American tourists in Paris, and enters the popular zeitgeist as a new and unsettling reality.
He is not, as it happens, the only celebrity imparting the new currency wisdom. Chatter about his video comes on the heels of reports that Gisele Bundchen, the world’s richest model, is asking that payment for her numerous advertising gigs be in euros. While her manager has since denied any such stipulation exists in Bundchen’s contracts, the message is nonetheless compounded: the dollar is out of fashion.
Even the Wu-Tang Clan, another power on the rapping scene, is daring to diss the dollar. Never mind that they coined the catchphrase of conspicuous consumption, “dolla dolla bill, y’all”‘ – click on their official website and inquire about buying their new album. It is priced not in greenbacks, but in euros.
….”It’s ignorance and arrogance,” commented Clyde Prestowitz, of the Economic Strategy Institute. “The candidates, the voters, the country’s elite – they all take it for granted that the US currency is always going to be the world’s currency. It hasn’t hit them yet.”
But Jay-Z has given the dollar’s slow demise visuals and a soundtrack, while Bundchen has given it a sexy face. Now Americans, reluctant as they may be, might start to pay attention.
But Republicans are really good at economics cuz they wear Adam Smith ties. Or something.