Friday, January 27, 2006

Hollywood Destroying American Culture

What kind of country do we live in when we pay orchestral musicians an average of $57,000 while top pop talent can rake in well over $1 million.  What kind of country do we live in where musicians that spend years studying music at top colleges, spending their entire lives struggling to win a spot in an orchestra and get to achieve a modest middle-class lifestyle if they are lucky.  Meanwhile a pretty face or simply being in the right place at the right time leads an income 17 times that of the lowest musician and a life of luxury.

The wealth of the top entertainers has been steadily increasing while orchestras and theaters are struggling to make ends meet and are closing in communities all over the country.  

Government needs to step in and protect American cultural values.  Government can save our dying fine arts institutions by taxing tickets to movies, pop concerts, CDs and DVD sales and use the proceeds to fund investment in local theaters, actor troupes and symphonic organizations.

Such a view is, of course, ludicrous, but I maintain that the causality is probably better justified than that contained in this study, which relies on the same fallacious zero-sum views of the world.

The disparity between rich and poor is growing in America as the federal minimum wage has remained flat for years, union membership has declined and industries have faced global competition, according to a study released Thursday.

Renwick said the government "needs to continue its commitment to correcting the natural outcomes of the marketplace" by raising the minimum wage with inflation and by tax policies like the earned income tax credit.

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