That’s a very good question these days. What’s up with the down market? Is the dollar inflated or deflated? Are we at the end of a recession, the beginning of a depression or in the middle of a C-section? And furthermore, what does all this have to do with the new tours?

In a word, everything.

While everyone accepts the economic fact that an increase in ticket sales leads to more fans in the audience, therefore generating additional revenues for artists and promoters alike, many are still not clear as to where that money goes, or for that matter, who gets it. Sure, we understand how artists and bands, such as David Bowie and Counting Crows, play an integral part in the overall financial picture, but do we really comprehend the basics, such as supply-side parking fees, as well as how the trickle-down factor comes into play when one purchases a seven dollar bottle of water at the local sports arena?

Of course, the study of economic theory is often fraught with big words and long sentences, thereby discouraging even the most casual concert fan from analyzing fiscal cause-and-effect when stepping up to the ticket window and purchasing ducats for 38 Special or Phil Lesh & Friends. Unfortunately, most music lovers buy tickets for their favorites, such as Barenaked Ladies, Cyndi Lauper or Seal, and rarely give a thought as to how their purchases might help stimulate Wall Street into doing a better job protecting our monetary supply.

But does a rising curtain lift all hopes? And what about government intervention? Sure, President Bush’s ticket service charge cuts have helped, but there is growing criticism that such cuts only benefit the wealthy, the same upper class earners that you see in the private sky boxes at shows for Shania Twain and Cher, leading many pundits to question how the same cuts affect those purchasing tickets for Fishbone and Ill Nino. In other words, how does a family of four, with an net income of $23,000 per year decide between buying tickets for Michelle Branch, Jewel and George Strait, and putting food on the table, as well as paying for Fido’s neutering? Tough questions? Of course, but the hard ones always are. Especially if Fido isn’t the family dog.

But we digress.

The bottom line is as long as artists and bands such as Michael Buble and Limp Bizkit continue to sell tickets, the economy will either remain on the path it’s on or perhaps go off in some other direction. Which may explain why fans are gobbling up tickets for the Simon & Garfunkel reunion tour. After all, if you were to buy tickets to see these two artists separately, you’d probably spend several times more than the current box office price for the combined package. Two for the price of last year’s Paul McCartney ticket! Such a deal!

So the next time someone asks you about the economy, you look ’em square in the face and tell ’em the economy is doing fine, thank you. You tell ’em about The Vexers and Jeffrey Osborne. You tell ’em about Bob Schneider playing in Chicago on November 20. And be sure to tell them about seeing Peter Frampton, Christopher Cross and Bret Michaels. Then get your butt down to Ticketmaster and tell the clerk that you want two of everything. You tell ’em you’re walking it like we’re talking it, and that you’re here to rock the economy and roll those deficit blues away.

One final thought. When the clerk rings up the sale, be sure to use your credit card. Make our president proud.