$150 million given voluntarily to the arts by individual donors via Kickstarter.
$146 million taken from taxpayers and distributed by the National Endowment for the Arts.
It looks like individuals can do a better job at funding the arts than government. Plus, it is done via a far more democratic process – individual donors giving directly to the projects they care about as opposed to a relative handful of people within the NEA deciding what projects deserve tax payer dollars.
Spending other people’s money is prone to controversy because not everyone will agree on how the money should be spent. Many will feel unhappy having to fund projects they disapprove of or worse, feel that they have been forced to fund projects that insult them. – see Piss Christ
Of course, there will be some that prefer the NEA still fund the arts with taxpayer funds. With their seemingly built in deference to authority, they assume that the NEA simply knows better than the general public as how best to spend their hard earned cash. After all, we are simply the bourgeoisie and aren’t qualified to make such decisions. So, we should be happy they make those decisions for us since we would probably just screw it up anyway. Heh heh
I think this is just the beginning for places like Kickstarter. Watch for them to grow and for them to eventually dwarf the works of the NEA. However, I doubt the NEA will ever be dismantled as those in power rarely ever surrender power – even when it is in the best interest of the public.
via Reason’s Hit and Run