Stossel on Government "Art"

Thursday, March 09, 2017

John Stossel, writing about the prospect of less federal funding for the arts, nicely sums up how such schemes create and entrench cadres of looters:

... Arts grants tend to go to people who got prior arts grants.

Some have friends on grant-making committees. Some went to the same schools as the people who pick what to subsidize. They know the right things to say on applications so they look "serious" enough to underwrite. They're good at writing applications. They're not necessarily good at art.
Or, as I once replied to a leftist colleague who spammed me the last time people were in a froth about "killing Big Bird": "Government funding equals government control." (For clarity, (1) the above is just one of several ways this happens, and (2) "fixing" things so the "needy" would always get funds does not change the fact that the money was stolen in the first place.)

And, regarding Big Bird, Stossel notes that Sesame Street successfully privatized some time ago, and "no longer gets government funds." So it is doubly ironic that the news is running photos of Big Bird, now that these cuts are being discussed again. If he symbolizes anything about good art, it is that it can and does do well with private support.

Art is too important to be controlled in any way by the government, and it is a monstrous injustice that we're being robbed to perpetuate the situation. It is a shame that this classed-up swindle is going to survive at all.

-- CAV

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