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Is the lack of right-wing comedians an example of market failure?

Dara O’Briain says no, it’s just not that funny when you attack people less powerful than you.

What it means: Most comedians who perform in Britain are left-wing, according to the BBC and our own painstaking research (okay, we just watched a couple of episodes of Live at the Apollo).

Left-wing is a bit of a difficult thing to define, ofc, but generally comedians are not fans of the Tories, Brexit, or social conservatism (which means supporting things like ‘traditional’ marriage, the pro-life movement and/or #AllLivesMatter).

This is kinda odd from an economic perspective. There are millions and millions of Brits who like both right-wing things and comedy (and presumably don’t like comedy based around telling them their views are stupid).

If Dara O’Briain is right that comedy is a free market (i.e. the government isn’t stepping in to tell comics what they can and can’t do) then all this demand for right-wing comics should encourage right-wing funny people to become comics. After all, they won’t have lots of other right-wing comics to compete with for right-wing people’s money, so they should make lots of profits.

Some people (alright Donald, we see you lookin’) may say that the market is being interfered with by liberal media outlets who are pushing their fake news agenda by refusing to book right-wing comics on Mock The Week. But the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a yearly comedy jamboree where wannabe comics perform in bars and streets far from the liberal media’s control, is as largely lefty as anywhere else.

So perhaps it’s the economic assumptions about how free markets work that are flawed. Isn’t economics funny?

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?