Economics Lesson

Kim Kardashian Rejects Antigay Hotel Owner Boycott

kardashianOK, so this is weird: Kim Kardashian is making a lot of sense.

Kim just published a little memo on Celebuzz about boycotting the Beverly Hills Hotel. The hotel, you’ll recall, is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who favors death for gays and lesbians. That makes it kind of difficult to stay at the hotel without feeling icky.

But, Kim points out, the Sultan has more money than any person should reasonably have, and the fortunes of one hotel aren’t exactly as big deal to him. A few cancelled weddings or conferences probably wouldn’t even get his attention.

But you know who a boycott does affect? The innocent employees of the hotel. Kim apparently has a longtime relationship with the people who have waited on her there over the years, and it bums her out to see them suffering for the lost business.

So what to do? Kim doesn’t offer any suggestions, other than hoping that there must be a better way to pressure antigay regimes to change. To her credit, she emphatically rejects the Sultan’s actions and affirms her belief in the civil rights of queers. But she doesn’t know what anyone ought to do differently.

Ultimately, there really isn’t much that any regular person can really do to affect the Sultan of Brunei. He’s a Sultan, after all, for crying out loud. Pressuring the U.S. government to take action against Brunei might do some good. But canceling a hotel reservation is just about as useless as boycotting Russian vodka.