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I saw the following sentence in today’s Washington Post.
I understand that ‘the Kardashian’ is picked up from a popular American reality TV series, ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians'.
But I don't understand what ‘the Kardashians’ signify in this particular context of the government's attempt at stimulating the economy (or helping needies). Please teach me.

“Uncle Sam follows 'the Kardashians' into prepaid card market:

Uncle Sam wants you to have a prepaid card, and he's not the only one. ¶ The Treasury Department is sending letters to 600,000 people this week encouraging them to sign up to receive their tax return on a new government-issued prepaid card as part of a pilot program to help those with limited acc...”

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I suppose it means the government follows the example and action of the Kardashians by trying also to launch a prepaid card (like the Kardashians did).

To juxtapose the two "entities" (the "Treasury Department" on one side and "the Kardashians" on the other) probably means the idea is questionable, considering it (The treasury) might not follow the best role model out there.
It is at least a way to illustrate the vast number and variety of actors in that particular market.
The debate will center around fees associate with those "debit cards".

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Vonc. I don't know the story of, and what "The Kardashians" reality show looks likeat all. They lauched a prepaid card? It's hard to associate the government's economic initiative and the principal characters in a TV show. Maybe it's better to have a look into the show via TV site. - Yoichi – Yoichi Oishi Jan 16 '11 at 3:38
If you go googling for "Kardashian Card", this looks like an informative hit: credit.com/blog/2010/12/… – Hellion Jan 16 '11 at 4:17
I would have found the headline equally baffling, as I was unaware the Kardashians had launched their own prepaid card. (Perhaps because I have never seen the TV show and don't particularly care who these people are or what they do.) The apparent point is to make fun of the government for imitating a celebrity, though that seems a little silly: Surely you could always find some random person or organization who did something that the government has just done, good or bad. (continued ...) – Jay Dec 19 '11 at 16:30
(continued) Like, "Government follows Mrs Sally Jones of Podunk Iowa by searching for a cheaper source of gasoline", or "Government follows Fred's Barber Shop by defaulting on debt". Unless a government official actually said, "We're doing this because the Kardashians did it and that must mean it's a good idea", I think the comparison is a major "so what?" Whether the article was trying to ridicule the government or just be cute, it strikes me as just dumb. – Jay Dec 19 '11 at 16:32
I agree with you, Jay. I think the idea is that if you are familiar with the Kardashian Card (and it was the punch-line of many late-night talk show monologue jokes), then this is a good sentence. But unfortunately for the person that wrote that, I don't think the K Card is THAT well known, so it ends up leaving many readers scratching their head and asking "who are the Kardashians?" or "I know who the Kardashians are, but what card are they talking about?" I think an write (or their) editor who was more in tune with pop culture's impact (or lack of, in this case) should have left it out. – Eric Jun 8 '12 at 19:45

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