Turn on thread page Beta

Should the Arts be subsidsed? watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The_Octopus)
    We seem to be finding a very complex solution to a very simple problem.
    "Taxpayer's should subsidise art!"
    "But only the rich go to the opera, why should the poor pay for it?"
    "Well make the rich be taxed more to go to the opera!"
    "But what about Modern art?"
    "Do poor people like Modern Art?"
    "I don't know!"

    These problems can all be solved by market forces.
    By subsidising the arts you are punishing people who do not wish to go to the theatre and the opera by making them pay for other people to go. If you want to go and see the opera, you can pay for it.

    I'd much rather live in a world where a poor man who wants to go to the opera can't, because he can't afford it, than a world where lots of poor men who don't want to go to the opera have to pay for other people who do.

    And if not enough people want to pay to go to the opera, well the opera better cut it's costs, lower it's prices, or go bust. And people can complain about the decline of society, and the arts dissapearing, but if they cared that much about the opera, well, they would have paid for the tickets themselves instead of expecting the taxpayer to foot the bill for their extravagant entertainment.
    This is my whole point. Well put.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The_Octopus)
    We seem to be finding a very complex solution to a very simple problem.
    "Taxpayer's should subsidise art!"
    "But only the rich go to the opera, why should the poor pay for it?"
    "Well make the rich be taxed more to go to the opera!"
    "But what about Modern art?"
    "Do poor people like Modern Art?"
    "I don't know!"

    These problems can all be solved by market forces.
    By subsidising the arts you are punishing people who do not wish to go to the theatre and the opera by making them pay for other people to go. If you want to go and see the opera, you can pay for it.

    I'd much rather live in a world where a poor man who wants to go to the opera can't, because he can't afford it, than a world where lots of poor men who don't want to go to the opera have to pay for other people who do.

    And if not enough people want to pay to go to the opera, well the opera better cut it's costs, lower it's prices, or go bust. And people can complain about the decline of society, and the arts dissapearing, but if they cared that much about the opera, well, they would have paid for the tickets themselves instead of expecting the taxpayer to foot the bill for their extravagant entertainment.
    I think the counter argument to this is that certain arts would collapse or drop out or disappear and then would be lost completely, beacuse these things are kept alive throughcomplex skills and continual training of new people. And then we would lost a great deal of artistic hereitage and legacy. Wether this is true or not I don't know.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Democracy)
    I think if these things weren't subsidised, it would go back to the old days when they were past times only for the very rich and privileged. Personally, I hate the ballet, but the common man/woman has just as much right to see it as the well off.
    Not at my expense they don't. Why should poor people have a right that I pay for them to go to the ballet?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    or, in other words, should some people rob others so that they can use the loot to pay people to produce art?
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Anony mouse)
    I can’t afford to pay for a holiday.

    I can’t afford to purchase a car.

    I can’t afford to buy the latest video games console.

    Relatively speaking, most people on TSR are rich in comparison to me and can afford the aforesaid commodities. You said "leaving it only as a pursuit of the rich is unfair". So tell me, Democracy, do you think the taxpayer should subsidise these as well?
    If all cars/holidays cost (like in the old days before mass production) a mint, then yeah I'd advocate government intervention to assume everyone had equal access to these facilities.

    But you're confusing art with a commerical venture. It is possible to cheapen and mass produce vehicles. It is not possible to mass produce art galleries, that is why subsidies are necessary.

    (Original post by Rinsed)
    It wasn't the same 100 years ago because his sentance was 'if the poor are getting richer', which they are.

    The poor are perfectly capable of spending their money to sustain a multi-billion pound film industry, and football clubs with expensive stadiums and extravagantly paid players. The reason the arts need subsidy and have high prices is because they aren't as popular amongst the poor, not the other way round.
    Actually 100 years ago during the industrial revolution and beyond, people's wealth increased overtime at a far faster pace than it did say 400 years ago.

    Class dictates a lot of what someone will like or dislike. Go up to a central London chav and ask them what they think of Vivaldi and I guarantee you their response will be :eyeball: But the same might not be true of a well off kid living in the Home Counties. Why is this? Are the poorer class in built with a lack of appreciation for classical music? Or is it that these things have been for so long a preserve of the rich and wealthy that they've not had the oppurtunity to appreciate them? I believe it is the latter.

    And the real poor (as opposed to class slummers) can hardly afford to go to football matches, unless it's their Sunday pub team. Even football, the last bastion of the working classes has been snatched away and commercialised due to capitalism.

    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Not at my expense they don't. Why should poor people have a right that I pay for them to go to the ballet?
    I think you need to look up the definition of "subsidy" mate.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    People don't have a right to rob the disinterested masses to pay for their obscure damn hobbies, no.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Democracy)
    I think you need to look up the definition of "subsidy" mate.
    We are talking about using tax money to pay for the arts, ostensibly in the hope that this will make it more available for poor people. Moreover, somebody here said that this was justified because poor people have a "right" to go to the ballet. They don't simple as that. Providing ballet for poor people requires the labour of others, dancers, theatre builders, and, in this case, taxpayers. You do not have a right that other people work to provide you with anything. If you had such a right, then they could have no right to refuse to work.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    NO! all these things make ALOT of money for the country in the way of tourism. Especially from the south bank area of theatres!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by amber2008)
    NO! all these things make ALOT of money for the country in the way of tourism. Especially from the south bank area of theatres!
    That's plainly untrue: 'the country' is not a single entity that makes or loses money en bloc. What you mean is that some specific individuals in the country make a sum of money which (you claim) is greater than the tax bill charged to the general public. This entirely misses the point. The general public who are harmed by this are, by and large, not the same people who are benefitted by it. If those specific individuals wish to subsidise theatres then it is their business, but it does not at all justify charging Mr Smith the carpenter in Belfast to make a concessions stand owner in London rich.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by amber2008)
    NO! all these things make ALOT of money for the country in the way of tourism. Especially from the south bank area of theatres!
    Anyway, it isn't those famous theatres that are receiving the subsidies.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Reducing the valuation of art to merely its financial success would be a terrible shame. I think there should be a limit, in that every struggling artist shouldn't be automatically given a hand-out, but to give artistic ventures with merit a degree of financial freedom to a)support them and b)make it cheaper (if not free) for people to experience is important. Besides, I believe a lot of funding for the arts come from the National Lottery, which isn't an enforced tax.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MSB)
    Reducing the valuation of art to merely its financial success would be a terrible shame. I think there should be a limit, in that every struggling artist shouldn't be automatically given a hand-out, but to give artistic ventures with merit a degree of financial freedom
    By piling more costs onto productive others.

    to a)support them and b)make it cheaper (if not free) for people to experience is important. Besides, I believe a lot of funding for the arts come from the National Lottery, which isn't an enforced tax.
    Except that anybody else trying to run such a lottery will be put in prison for it.

    Look, the litmus test here is that proposed, I think, by PJ O'Rourke: If you want to know whether you think something should be funded out of taxation, ask yourself if you would rob your grandmother to pay for it.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    By piling more costs onto productive others.



    Except that anybody else trying to run such a lottery will be put in prison for it.

    Look, the litmus test here is that proposed, I think, by PJ O'Rourke: If you want to know whether you think something should be funded out of taxation, ask yourself if you would rob your grandmother to pay for it.
    What do you want me to respond to, exactly? I am aware how tax works; I am still glad that it is spent on subsidising the arts in certain instances.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    SHould they be subsidised?

    Yes

    Should the general public have a greater influence on what those subsidies go on? If it's coming from taxpayers money, then yes.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Prince Rhyus)
    SHould they be subsidised?

    Yes

    Should the general public have a greater influence on what those subsidies go on? If it's coming from taxpayers money, then yes.
    But the general public can have a choice over what the money goes on. In fact, they can have total choice. By not subsidising at all. Then, people choose exactly what their money goes on, and it is directly proportional to how much they get out of the system. Market forces!

    EDIT - Didn't see other quotation-

    (Original post by Seven_Three)
    I think the counter argument to this is that certain arts would collapse or drop out or disappear and then would be lost completely, beacuse these things are kept alive throughcomplex skills and continual training of new people. And then we would lost a great deal of artistic hereitage and legacy. Wether this is true or not I don't know.
    There are lots of aspects of our culture that have died away, and that have dissapeared over the years gone by. And nobody cares about it now. What's so great about culture is that it is constantly evolving. And I don't think it is fair to take money from the working man, so the old traditions and culture of the rich in times gone by is kept alive.

    For culture to evolve, we need to let parts of it die. That is the only way it will get better. If the whole concept of the ballet dissapeared over a generation, then, while we might think it is a tragedy now, something else would take it's place. And a generation after that, people will love that something else a lot more than we love the ballet. And how do we know they will love it more? Because the fact that people enjoy this "something else" more than they enjoyed the ballet, is the reason that the something else rfeplaced the ballet in our culture.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The_Octopus)
    But the general public can have a choice over what the money goes on. In fact, they can have total choice. By not subsidising at all. Then, people choose exactly what their money goes on, and it is directly proportional to how much they get out of the system. Market forces!
    Haha, beat me to it! The greatest choice and freedom that a tax-payer can have is when they decide, themselves, what they wish to support.

    I mean, what's the point of Person A giving money to Person B, to buy something Person A enjoys? And, it's not even that simple, because Person A is actually losing money, due to to the fact that it costs to collect tax, and through wastage.

    And I think, whether or not the Arts give a financial return is, for the time being, irrelevant. My question is, who decides what is enriching to society? Who is to say that Vivaldi is more enriching than a modern artist? Why are the Arts so special that they deserve a subsidy?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Prince Rhyus)
    SHould they be subsidised?

    Yes

    Should the general public have a greater influence on what those subsidies go on? If it's coming from taxpayers money, then yes.
    That's very kind of you.

    No really, I find it difficult to understand this sort of cognitive dissonance. If you recognise that people have a moral entitlement to wealth they have earned, how can you possibly support the subsidy in the first place? Afterall, if you gave everyone direct control over their own slice of the money, they presumably would spend it on something else entirely, or else the subsidy would be un-"need"ed in the first place. The entire justification of the subsidy is that the philosopher kings in parliament and the civil service know better than us silly oiks what to do with the produce of our labour - it makes no sense to then turn around and ask us what we want done with it. We were perfectly capable of spending it something we actually wanted without your "help".
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by favh)
    That's very kind of you.

    No really, I find it difficult to understand this sort of cognitive dissonance. If you recognise that people have a moral entitlement to wealth they have earned, how can you possibly support the subsidy in the first place? Afterall, if you gave everyone direct control over their own slice of the money, they presumably would spend it on something else entirely, or else the subsidy would be un-"need"ed in the first place. The entire justification of the subsidy is that the philosopher kings in parliament and the civil service know better than us silly oiks what to do with the produce of our labour - it makes no sense to then turn around and ask us what we want done with it. We were perfectly capable of spending it something we actually wanted without your "help".
    For the sake of argument, I'll take the other side of the coin.

    Who is to say that we know how to spend our money. Perhaps in certain situations the government is better qualified, for example, what about the example of Street Lights? Would they exist without the government?

    Perhaps the Arts provide value to society, by making us culturally enriched. Perhaps without the subsidies these Arts would not survive, and therefore we would lose out as a society.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Yes. Some things shouldnt be left to the free market. What would we be left with, the X factor. Anything better would be solely be the pleasure of the elites. You Libs can bugger off and live like that, I'll stick to having the BBC and free museums, ta
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dodgyant)
    For the sake of argument, I'll take the other side of the coin.

    Who is to say that we know how to spend our money. Perhaps in certain situations the government is better qualified, for example, what about the example of Street Lights? Would they exist without the government?
    Pretty obviously yes, since there are many private streets and establishments in this country already that have street lighting.

    I don't think a claim that 'the government' knows better how to spend money than 'the people' can even be consistent - the government is made up of, chosen by and claims its authority derives from those same people. If you're too stupid to spend your own money, why aren't you too stupid to choose how the government will spend it?

    It becomes more problematic if you try to get out of this by claiming some standard of 'intelligence' or 'administrative competence' that qualifies someone for government (as well as having to get rid of democracy), because it's not clear how any such standard would be constructed. Most peoples' competing views on how money should be spent is based mostly on differening subjective preferences, not an objective standard. Deciding which is 'correct' is impossible.

    The only sensible way out of this, in my view, is to abandon the whole notion of how to "best" spend money and consider rather where it comes from, ie. individuals working to produce it. It seems fairly intuitively correct that people own the product of their labour, and that if they are forced to work for the benefit of others, they are being enslaved.

    Perhaps the Arts provide value to society, by making us culturally enriched. Perhaps without the subsidies these Arts would not survive, and therefore we would lose out as a society.
    Except, again, this is not really a meaningful thing to say. "Society" is not an entity that consumes arts, it is the network of relationships between particular individuals who make up the society. They are the ones gaining or losing, and I don't think it makes any sense to say that people can morally be forced to work to provide arts merely because some other people in society would like there to be arts. In the first place, those people would like that money to be spent on whatever else they were going to spend it on, rather than spending it on the arts themselves. Even if it is justifiable to expropriate people for the benefit of others (and as I said above, I really don't think it is), the two competing claims should cancel out anyway.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: August 19, 2009
Poll
Which accompaniment is best?
Useful resources

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.