Markets in everything those new service sector jobs

TITUSS BURGESS doesn’t like to travel and says he knows “zero” about South Africa, which would seem to make him an unlikely host for a 10-day tour of that nation, especially one that costs nearly $27,000 a head. But on a chill March night, the actor, best known for his role as Titus Andromedon on the Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” patiently posed for selfies with travel journalists at a Manhattan wine bar to kick off Heritage Tours’ new Spotlight Series of trips. The company describes the tours as “immersive small-group experiences enhanced by the presence of expert personalities and influencers.”

…While Mr. MacMillan says that the hosts for his trips were chosen for their connection to the destinations, the link can seem tenuous. Courtney Reed, who played Princess Jasmine in Disney ’s “Aladdin” on Broadway will be hosting a trip to Spain focused on wine, fashion and food. She’s never been to Spain, but is “extra thrilled” about going. “I think my role is just to provide social ambience,” she said. “I’m a very easygoing person and I can create extra flair just having fun and appreciating our surroundings. I’m like a cheerleader….We’re going to have a blast!”

…Other travel companies are hitching their wagons to stars who don’t merely gild the travel experience, but add bona fide knowledge or expertise. “There’s only so much caviar and champagne you can give passengers, so we like to enrich their experience in an intelligent way,” said Barbara Muckermann, chief marketing officer of Silversea Cruises. The cruise line, which has at least one expert lecturer on each of its ships, invited nine artists, writers and other creative types including authors Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer and Saroo Brierley to make appearances during its 133-day World Cruise 2019. Besides giving lectures, each is contributing to a commemorative anthology that Silversea line is creating for the passengers.

There is more at the link, by Kevin Doyle at the WSJ, via the excellent Samir Varma.


Finally some service sector jobs that don't suck. We've had a string of mostly terrible jobs featured here (dogwalker anyone?) But unfortunately you must be at least a minor celebrity to qualify for these.

I was talking to a young fellow who had just qualified for the Uber of dog-walking. It turns out it's much harder to qualify for this dog walking service. I guess they give you customers' housekeys. Plus people really care about their dogs so you have to pass a complex test on dog behavior.

Businesses do this so they can go to politicians to complain about labor "shortage" and talk up the uniqueness and deep skills needed to be a dogwalker all so they can import more workers from abroad. Anything to make life hard for people who want to work for a living.

Maybe that is the reason, but I would also guess that they are doing this to signal their responsibility to dog owners. A costly training course signals that the dog walkers have something to lose if they don't do a good job.

@Nagios - if you don't mind me saying this, that seems a little snobbish of you. There are many people who love animals and would like to be paid to work with them. And even ignoring this objectively dog walking seems a much nice job than say working in a coal mine. This prejudice against service jobs (as against real jobs in factories) is quite harmful in my view in creating all sorts of distortions in the economy.

No offense taken but these jobs don't pay enough for them to have savings. That's what I mean by "suck". Working with animals clearly does not suck but these Uber-ified workers aren't even considered full time employees so they also lack things like benefits, health insurance, and unemployment insurance. This is the real source of prejudice against these types of jobs.

Nagios - clearly the people taking these new service sector jobs prefer them to the other alternatives that they have. So we shouldn't second guess their decision, and I think it would be wrong to remove the option from them (say by requiring that any such jobs provide high wages/benefits which would then likely reduce the amount of such jobs), or even to say that their jobs are not good jobs.

these jobs don't pay enough for them to have savings.

In the US of A nobody is supposed to have savings, per se. Any income that hasn't been spent on groceries, rent, car payments, etc. is to be "invested" in common stocks, all to fuel the consumer treadmill economy. Inflation, designed into the system, is meant to destroy the concept of personal savings and eliminate liquidity.

Former celebrities don't seem to ever have to get real jobs much anymore. There was a big to-do recently about some actor who had been on the The Cosby Show having to work in a grocery store (presumably because his royalty checks dried up with the Cosby scandal), but that seems more like an exception that validates the rule. It's kind of like Air-BnB: modern communications makes it easy to match minor celebrities with people who would pay to hang out with them.

Celebrities have become like modern royalty with similar arcane but very important to them hierarchies, dependent on what TV series and which films they have appeared in. In the same vein, back in the olden times it was somehow demeaning to both royalty and the public if say a Prince of the realm had to engage in trade- Royalty was somehow Other. Now we would be shocked and sympathetic if say an Oscar winner had to do even a relatively high level job outside of the film industry. It seems like something is wrong with the world that such a thing can happen.

Just google 'hire a celebrity'

Or check out this site:

It's kind of the opposite of Andy Warhol's "In the future, everybody will be famous for 15 minutes." It's more like anybody who was ever famous will stay famous to 15 people forever.

By the way, Andy said that in 1968, so he's gotten 51 years of fame out of that line.

Love that first part, that's clever.

But Warhol probably would have been famous for more than 15 minutes even without saying that.

'enhanced by the presence of expert personalities and influencers'

This line seems perfectly suited for inclusion in an updated edition of Veblen's 'The Theory of the Leisure Class.'

Any comments on the Brain Drain report from the Senate?

It fits my hypothesis that blue states are getting smarter with higher IQs while red states get dumber with lower IQs. That's why blue states can compete with the world and actually get stronger with immigration while red states are the exact opposite (except for Texas and Utah, god bless). The only humane thing to do is distribute opioids to those failed red states to make room for the progeny of higher IQ couples from blue states due to associative mating (rich, smart women don't marry poor, dumb guys). Turns out having low taxes and cutting funding to schools while keeping around low skill jobs that even a Mexican could do or a Chinese could ship to us by boat is a loser's strategy. But what do I know I fly over those states in my G4 and dodge Trump's attempt to tax my wealth with my awesome tax moves.

Who is this for?

It’s anonymous/bear again.

Note the lack of hyperlink and the poor writing style.


"Overall, dynamic states along the Boston-Washington corridor (Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland), on the West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington), and in other parts of the country (Illinois, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and Hawaii) are the best at retaining and attracting highly-educated adults. Meanwhile, states in northern New England (New Hampshire and Vermont), the Rust Belt (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri), the Plains (North and South Dakota and Iowa), and the Southeast (West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana), as well as Delaware, fare the worst on both counts."

Seems odd that New Hampshire would be faring badly in retaining highly educated adults when the southern part of the state is essentially a suburb of Boston. But I left NH for greener pastures as well so I suppose I’m a case in point.

So 12 prosperous states versus 18 less prosperous states. We know how that will play out in Congress. The removal of SALT exemptions was just the first shot across the bow. This will not be pretty.

1. Express undying solidarity with the middle and working classes and people of color (who tend to be found among the middle and working classes).
2. Also proclaim that inequality is one of the worst problems we face, then...
2. Adopt tax, land-use and other regulatory policies that...
3. Relentlessly jack up housing prices, and...
4. Push adjusted poverty rates to very high levels, and also
5. Drive industrial employers of middle and working class families out of your state, all of which...
6. Raise inequality and...
6. Push middle and working class families themselves to move out, and then finally...
7. Stand back and admire your enlightened work.
8. Pat yourself on the back when observing that average education levels in your state are rising.
9. Sneer at the middle and working class families (now deplorables) who've left to seek refuge (and jobs and more affordable housing) in red states.

Or, if you prefer a graphical representation, here's the process in a single GIF:

Hi, I am Mr. Wilbur Washington, from Kalamazoo, Michigan. I think it is time to impeach Mr. Brad Hoylman. I don't think he is fit to serve in Congress. His political behavior is unfit for a U.S. Senator and/or a gentleman.

good to meet you Senor Washington/Ribeiro!
you sound somewhat binary this morning
"“nonbinary”- “a person whose beautiful existence transcends reductive binary constructs and works to annihilate gender and gender-based oppression once and for all.”1
can amherst get any funnier?
you betcha for 80 grand/year you also get
a stink bomb and then
a student said" the protesters’ refusal to challenge Sessions’ ideas directly was “our contribution to the conversation.”
whose a rebranded marxist this time?


Media and celebrity are co-dependent: one wouldn't exist without the other. A recent Nielsen poll found that the average adult in America spends nearly half (11 hours) her day interacting with media. Is it any wonder that Americans are celebrity-obsessed.

Cool story gramps. But you aren’t really complaining because the second this stops being true is the second your left wing poltical preferences get metaphorically hung from lamp posts.

"The cruise line, which has at least one expert lecturer on each of its ships, invited nine artists, writers and other creative types"

Is this unusual? For Passover, Jews of means Exodus to swanky Passover getaways all over the world. Each program features a lineup of notable lecturers, cantors, rabbis.

Is the fonz generally leading the tour?

Tyler should cash in too. The only thing that would get me onto another cruise ship is if they hired Tyler, Alex, Scott Alexander, and a few other fascinating intellectuals to spice up the dinner conversations.

That was going to be my comment except I doubt Tyler does cruises.
Instead it would be MRT -- Marginal Revolution Tours. We all know the types of places they'll be going to eat.

We don't...

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