Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Dollars And Sense Of Investing In The Arts

It's a shame that we now seem to live in a fact-free world.  Because, if facts mattered, especially as they related to the economy, we wouldn't be talking about cutting funding about the arts.  And certainly not about eliminating it altogether, as Donald Trump has proposed.

We would and should be doubling it.  Tripling it.  Quadrupling it.  Anything but cutting it.

Because I could make a compelling case for how much nicer, prettier, livelier, and just plain better life is with the arts as part of it.  Many people could, whether they are artists or patrons.  But not even many of those people realize that the arts don't just make our culture better.  They make our economy better, and in a very big way.

To see exactly how big, take a look at this article, and do the math.  For every dollar given to and spent by the NEA, more than $17,000 is added to the economy.  If we did little more than double the amount currently provided to the NEA, we could very well end up with a federal budget surplus based on that expenditure alone.

In other words, all that would be needed would be for Trump's family to move into the White House, or for Trump to keep the golf schedule that he promised as a candidate that he would keep.

And the fact that he was born in, and has lived most of his life in, the city that relies on the arts for an enormous chunk of its economy makes his proposed NEA cut all the more incomprehensible.

Federal investments in the arts and humanities are one of the few expenditures by our government that actually pays for itself, and then some.  Don't let Trump, or his GOP cronies in Congress, do it.

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