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Governments that in as much debt as ours should not fund the arts

Background and Context

This is a reliably good issue for debate; although the particular circumstances of government funding for the arts will vary from country to country and should be researched carefully, the principles remain universal. The Proposition should take care to define what is meant by the arts – does it include museums and galleries as well as theatre, music and film? Forms of subsidy can also vary and may include, for example, funding via a state lottery as well as direct grants from the national treasury.

Reasons to agree: +9
  1. We must not wait to suffer a crisis like Greece or Portugal's
  2. People will pay for good art; government subsidies are unnecessary.
  3. Arts subsidies benefit mostly the wealthy and elite
  4. The federal government should follow the 10th amendment which only gives it powers to do certain things, and gives the states the power to do EVERYTHING else.
  5. We are 15 trillion dollars in debt. We have to start making choices. We should only spend money on vitally important things: things that are worth borrowing money from China to pay for.  When we can't make our commitments to children's health, education, and other life or other death maters. The arts are wonderful, and important, but we don't live in a world where we can pretend that we don't need to make choices.
  6. You have no right to spend money I worked hard to earn to buy pretty things for yourself. Don't even pretend it is for me or that I benefit. If I wanted it, I would have payed for it. I have a family I'm trying to support, a mortgage, and we watch every penny. We try to spend a few dollars on art for the kids, but we don't want our money going to art that we do not approve of or want in our homes. 
  7. Its not the government's job to be smarter than art consumers, and fund TRUE art that is not appreciated. This assumes that no one but the person getting the government money is smart enough to appreciate the truly innovative art... We have billions of dollars buying millions of pieces of innovative crap... If you don't think boundaries are being pushed enough, then you are the last person who should be getting more government money. 
  8. Just as governments have proved to be very poor at centrally-directed economic planning, they are unlikely to be any better at centrally-directed artistic planning
  9. Subsidies of art diminish incentives and quality. Were I the Minister for The Arts charged with the futile task of finishing off Art once and for all, the Arts Council would get a much increased budget. The idea would be to corrupt all artists, good and bad, by giving them huge piles of money in exchange for nothing. They’d either loll about in idleness, or thrash out rubbish as never before. The good, uncorrupted artists would despair and die. In other words the ruination of art would require the Arts Council to do just what it does now, only more so. Arts subsidies are like foreign aid. They are supposed to help, but in fact they only feed the people who make the biggest difficulties for real artists. Just as with the foreign aid racket, the closer you get to the Arts racket the more it stinks. (I met some of the creatures who work for the Arts Council when doing drama at University.) http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/cultn/cultn002.pdf
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Interest of those who agree



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      Web-pages that disagree:

      1.  Brian Micklethwaits. "Against arts subsidies". Libertarian Alliance.
      2. Bill Kauffman. "Subsidies to the Arts: Cultivating Mediocrity". CATO Institute. August 8th, 1990
      3. "Government-subsidized works of the untalented". CATO. February 22, 2001
      4. "Ernest Hemingway and Art Subsidies: A Farewell to Alms". July 5th, 1999
      5. American Arts Alliance
      6. National Endowment for the Arts (US)
      7. The Arts Council of England
      8. White Paper on Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (South Africa)
      9. Infometrics: The Arts Flourish, State Funded or Not -
      10. Government and the Arts (News From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign May 1995)
      11. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy: Show Me the Monet! Why Not Privatize the Arts?
      12. Ballet.Co.Uk: The Royal Ballet: a plea for proper funding
      13. Unbound magazine opinion piece -
      14. PBS discussion of federal arts funding -
      15. Americans for the arts
      16. Australia Major Performing Arts Group



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      # of reasons to agree: 0
      # of reasons to disagree: -0
      # of reasons to agree with reasons to agree: 0
      # of reasons to agree with reasons to disagree: -0
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