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Subject: Re: Correction NEA and PBS
From: Marc Shepherd <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Marc Shepherd <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 21 Jan 2017 13:59:43 -0500

text/plain (68 lines)

The conservative argument for abolishing these agencies (not mine
personally), is that it leaves each person to decide for him or herself
which arts they care about, and therefore choose to pay for. That's such a
personal decision that the government shouldn't make it on our behalf. If
PBS dies because too few people care enough to pay for it, then that's how
it goes. Just like any form of entertainment, the free market should decide
if it survives.

Although the money is small by government standards, what matters (to
conservatives) is the principle that the government should do only what it
must. Private individuals can't buy fighter jets, or provide security at
the inaugural. The government *has to* do that. The government doesn't *have
to* fund the arts and humanities, and there is already plenty of that
available through the private sector.

The more cynical argument is simply that these agencies have long had a
liberal orientation, and now it's payback time. Though I am not bothered by
the liberal lean of PBS, I can certainly see why conservatives object to
funding arts and humanities that seldom take their point of view. And yes,
I do realize that the conservatives are quite capable of taking the
opposite tack, when it suits them.

It is also worth noting that at the time PBS was founded, there were only
three major TV networks, and most people had fewer than 10 total stations
at home. The number of available channels is now in the thousands, some of
which provide similar programming as PBS. If it had never existed, very few
people today would say that we have such a gap in available TV programming
that we need the government to help fund a new network.

On Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 11:36 AM, Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]>

> The budget for the NEA and NEH are 145 million these days. The cost of
> security
> only yesterday in DC was 100 million and the events 200 mil. And the
> Corporation
> for Public Broadcasting, also to be defunded, is the largest contributor
> to PBS and
> will certainly doom PBS when withdrawn.
> This has absolutely nothing to do with reducing government spending.
> Ordering
> one less F-35 fighter jet would finance all these agencies for several
> years. This is
> simply "Anti-Intellectualism in America Life" (also the title of a 1964
> Pulitzer Prize-
> winning book by Richard Hofstadter, basic to understanding America's
> cultural
> heritage and the ever-present resistance to the democratization of
> education.)

Marc Shepherd
New York, NY

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