Republicans are accused of being against the poor, against education, and against healthcare simply because they want limited government involvement in those areas. The French economist Frederic Bastiat already had that argument debunked 165 years ago when he wrote “every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on.”
So when it comes to the arts, we as conservatives aren’t against the arts, but against government funding of the arts. Without government funding, artists actually have to produce art the public will enjoy. When art is produced for the sake of grabbing up government grants, it goes without saying the quality will be…well, questionable.
Let’s examine some of the degeneracy the National Endowment of the Arts has fueled this year, as helpfully illuminated by the Free Beacon:
Taxpayers were billed $10,000 to support the “world premiere” of Cocked, a play by Sarah Gubbins.
“The play follows the relationship between a Caucasian woman from rural Iowa and her African-American girlfriend, who are staunchly opposed to gun ownership,” the description for the project reads. “When a family member arrives unexpectedly to stay in their Chicago condominium, their position corrodes as new discoveries surface and the lines between safety and protection are blurred.”
One paragraph in and we’ve already got gun control and sexuality covered. What’s next? Global warming and illegal immigration, of course:
The Boulder County Arts Alliance received $30,000 to “support One Action Creative Community Conversation on Immigration.” Part of the funding will go towards a mural by the Colorado-based artist Rafael Lopez, who made official posters for President Barack Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
A series of plays in Los Angeles about food stamps is costing $10,000, while the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, D.C., received $25,000.
Deferred Action, a play based on the president’s executive action to grant work permits to young illegal aliens, received $40,000. The funding is also going towards immigration education and outreach activities in Dallas.
Minneapolis will display a series of climate change-themed public art installations, which cost $20,000.
And to top it off:
A play in New York City “inspired in part by the killings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown” received $30,000, and an opera about two gay men working for the CIA in the 1950s who are forced to hide their sexuality is costing $35,000.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu says that “these projects, from all over the nation, will make a difference in their communities,” which is certainly true.
Considering the Endowment’s annual budget, communities will be $146,021,000 poorer than if this nonsense never existed.
Here’s a radical idea: have the arts funded by the people who actually want to PAY to enjoy them.
[Note: This article was written by The Analytical Economist]