Government Spending

Building a Wall of Separation Between Art and State

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At The New York Times' Room for Debate blog, David Boaz of the Cato Institute makes the case for separating art from state:

Government involves the organization of coercion. In a free society coercion should be reserved only for such essential functions of government as protecting rights and punishing criminals. People should not be forced to contribute money to artistic endeavors that they may not approve, nor should artists be forced to trim their sails to meet government standards.

Government funding of anything involves government control. That insight, of course, is part of our folk wisdom: "He who pays the piper calls the tune."

Defenders of arts funding seem blithely unaware of this danger when they praise the role of the national endowments as an imprimatur or seal of approval on artists and arts groups.

Read the whole thing here. Reason.tv offers 3 reasons not fund art with taxes below.