How Mariah Carey Pays for Your Lunch

Musicians have been known to make some fairly demanding requests from time to time. Whether it be a bowl full of only green M&M’s or 100 white doves in their dressing room, insane demands have become associated with successful musicians. The way they get these demands met is through an agreement called a rider. A rider is a list of requirements written into a musician’s contract when performing at a venue that must be met or the musician can legally refuse to play the gig.

The earliest examples of riders featured modest requests like the Beatles asking for a crate Coca-Cola bottles and a towel each in their dressing room. Since then the demands of artists have gotten a little more extravagant. Mariah Carey reportedly requested 20 white kittens in her dressing room. While the request may seem, pretentious and extravagant it probably helped pay for your lunch. How? The Circular Flow of Income.

The Circular Flow of Income is a concept used in economics to help understand how money travels around the economy between households and firms. It helps to show how money travels and doesn’t just disappear once people spend it. In the case of Mariah Carey’s 20 white kittens request, a pet shop will have to be ransacked for its new kittens. When the pet shop is paid for providing the kittens they then give a percentage of this money to their employees as wages and then the employees spend their wages on food and the food store uses this money to buy more stock from a farmer who in turn uses this money to pay his electricity bill and so on and so on.

Eventually, money travels so far in the economy that we’re bound to have held the same fiver note that Bono has at some time in the past or have used some of the same money that Mariah Carey spent on white kittens to buy your sandwich at lunch.

by Daragh O’Leary

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