Wednesday, July 9, 2008

#134 - Funding the Arts

I was watching recent edition of MobLogic with Lyndsay Campbell one of my favorite podcasts despite the differing views on some issues between me and the show. Basically it talked about how Bill Clinton cut funding by half to the NEA and was asking people on the street how they felt.

While I agree creativity is a priority in the development of the individual and it's our individual responsibility to cultivate that in our communities. If you constantly ask why the government isn't doing more you ask the wrong question and delay the solution which is well, let vested individuals take care of the problem and educate on the virtue of the cause. Thing only get fixed if people care about it, and no policy can force people to care only education and reason can. No one said it was easy.

While it's my job to improve the world around, the government does have a role in protecting my freedom to enact that responsibility whether it be by defense of our sovereignty or even protecting my personal property. While I guess we can say big brother hasn't been doing a good job of either with our atrocious foreign policy and tax laws.

In the case of the arts an appropriate government policy would be to create tax shelter incentives for investing in the arts. Not just merely a tax write off for your donations, but even a multiplier to that donation so that people get to keep more of their earnings for giving back. Basically if I donate 2k, I get a 4k write off and it's incentive.

Although while incentives might be able to stimulate more funds in that direction, the underlying ethical issues of taxation still mean we must phase out the income tax which makes a tax shelter a temporary fix.

In the end the ability communicate and inspire is the only to truly mobilize change. Policy is never an ends.

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