Paul Simon And Labor Economics

Listening to a Mark Steyn podcast interview with singer Paul Simon, [MP3]I heard Simon refer to the South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo as, in effect, a super doo-wop group, except that the South African group has 10 members instead of the American standard four. (Four Lads, Four Tops, Four Whatevers.)

Though we often post about South Africa, this post isn`t about race, it`s about labor ecconomics.

You know why a South African Zulu group has ten members, while an Italian-American doo-wop band has four? Cheap labor, that`s why! The Musician`s Union makes hiring a ten-piece group in America incredibly expensive.

In a related note, Mariachi bands sometimes have twenty members. And no, playing music is not a job Americans won`t do.