Oprah and the Friedmans

October 1, 2009

Oprah Winfrey, Milton and Rose Friedman all have strong ties to Chicago. Could the connection run deeper?

On Oprah’s Good Hair show, Chris Rock publicizes his movie of the same title, where he takes a Moneyball look into the world of ladies hair.  I learned a few things I didn’t know.  Women of all races go through a great deal of trouble, time and expense to feel good about their hair. Many women have weaves or extensions.  Most women don’t wear their natural color.  A lot of the hair that goes into weaves and extension come from India.

Beyonce’s little sister said she paid $40,000 to $50,000 a year to maintain her hairstyles before she cut it all off.  Chris was shocked when he found out that women were shelling out $1,000 for their hair.  He thought that was a bit much from someone he said was broke.

Now, this is only my interpretation, but when Chris said this and gave the slightest hint that something was wrong this, I saw a lot of faces get a “don’t you even think about doing anything to mess with my hair treatments” look and he backed away quickly.

After all this is still a free country.They wanted to be Free to Choose, as Milton or Rose might say.

That made me think.  Want to get the point across about the downside of a well-intended, but coercive government program?  Talk about hair.  Use it as an analogy.  Examples:

Perhaps we should regulate things like hair styles and how often you can visit a salon (I mean, shouldn’t you be home with the kids?).

Perhaps we should investigate salon owners because they seem to be making their clients dependent on their services in order to make as much money as possible.

Maybe we should set a limit on how much can be spent on hair treatments, especially if the customer is receiving government benefits.

Or, maybe we should just roll hair treatments in with everything else that’s covered by health insurance.  Good news: Your co-pay is $25.  Bad news, you only get two visits a year and no fancy stuff, just a basic cut.

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