01/28/2009 02:16 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Jeremy Herron, an AP business writer, reported last week that Britney Spears' antics are generating a Spears-based sub-economy. "In the days after the Britney Spears soap opera rode a police-escorted gurney to its apex," Herron wrote, "celeb-mag sales spiked, traffic jammed gossip Web sites, tabloid TV ratings rose and paparazzi photo prices surged."

In this time of American financial crisis, it's important to remember that Britney isn't the only celebrity keeping our economy afloat. Here's how some other famous folks are contributing:

  • Tom Cruise: Parodies of his recently leaked Scientology video have fueled a 60% increase in sales of black turtlenecks.
  • Wesley Snipes: The actor's acquittal in a tax-fraud case has inspired thousands of Americans to withhold payments to the IRS and keep their cash invested in important American industries, such as whisky.
  • Oprah: As far as I can tell, the woman's life is an elaborate series of product placements strung together by charity. Oops, what I meant to say was "Oprah will save us all."

And remember: in this time of financial strain, gas may be $3.11 a gallon, but if you subscribe to OK! Magazine, it's only $.99 an issue.