Singers, actors and dancers can stimulate audiences, but can they stimulate the economy? The authors of the current stimulus package seem to think so — they have included $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $150 million for infrastructure repairs at the Smithsonian.
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"There is absolutely no way this will stimulate the economy," argues Brian Riedl, a senior federal budget analyst for the Heritage Foundation. He believes funding for the NEA — like several other items in the stimulus package — will not grow the economy.
Here's the thing . . . you know a lot about a society by how much they value their art--the memory of its culture, if you will.
The monetary numbers are so bewildering to me, but I'll tell you this--$50 million doesn't scratch what the government's giving to banks, etc. And so many organizations that I care about are hurting.
I'm a little irked by Mr. Riedl's position, and it strikes me as "old thinking." Don't tell me that the Arts don't consist of small businesses that employ thousands/millions of people. And don't tell me that the arts won't stimulate the economy. Please. Value must be placed on those things which create ideas and not merely placed on the consumables. What's more, the arts foster metaphorical thinking--a means towards the connection of synapses. I'm tired of a government and a society that devalues creative thinking. A little love for the arts, please.
School of Seven Bells. "White Elephant Coat."