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If We Could Just Rid Of Muslims And The Arts…

Lime jpg

Now, normally I don’t respond to trolls. To paraphrase make Mark Twain, arguing with a troll is like wrestling with a pig, you end up all dirty and the pig loves it.

However, the other day, I happened to make a comment about the Arts Party and I received the delightful response about artists being WANKERS. I was tempted to respond and tell him that the great beauty of wanking is that it’s sex with someone you love, but when I checked out some of his posts to other people, I discovered that Mr Lime also had informed people about how all Muslims were terrorists and all women were disabled.

Yep, I thought, I’d just be mud-wrestling.

Before the day was out, I noticed another comment on Facebook from someone else who argued that we should totally defund the Arts.

“Lol stuff funding a bunch of art students who will sit at university for 15 years doing arts courses only to never pay back any HECS at the end of it. Dreaming. I’d prefer our tax paying money is spent on military over arts. You do realise we have a few financial issues at the moment? Priorities! You arts people expect funding from the government. You think it’s your right! Sorry but you’re at the bottom of he barrel when it comes to funding. Realise your place in society sooner. Give up!”

This was closer to someone I felt there could be a chance for a legitimate exchange, so I pointed out the rather obvious. “Sir, you have Mel Gibson as your profile picture and in case you aren’t aware, he is, in fact, an Arts worker.”

Unfortunately, he assured me that it was not a photo of Mel Gibson, but a photo of the wonderful “Marty Riggs” (Gibson’s lethal weapon character).

The conversation soon degenerated into mud-wrestling, even though I made no further contribution. He asked a friend to join in the conversation and they assured us that military spending was more important than “walking around Newtown with unshaven arm Pitts”. I refrained from asking about the cost of not shaving one’s arm “Pitts”. I also restrained myself from suggesting that it was the lack of submarines that made the USA vulnerable to the September 11 attacks.

And I guess that’s the trouble when we start to talk about Arts funding. Most people picture some whacky performance project or some council funded project to turn bus shelters into a Star Wars themed nativity scene, run by someone with a vocabulary peppered with phrases that sounded impressive while they were studying but seem rather trivial to the people who’ve just been complaining about the rise in their rates.

But not all Arts funding goes to the sort of projects that people would consider a luxury in our poverty stricken Australia. I mean, I know we’re poor. After all, some of the biggest companies aren’t even making a profit!! I don’t know why they don’t just close and invest their money in something that actually makes a return on their capital. Even bank interest makes a better return on investment than some of the top 100.

The Arts is a broad area, and most of us don’t take into account exactly how many people are actually employed in the Arts and connected industries. The Arts contributes to the economy with over 90 billion dollars in turnover and employs 600,000 people in creative industries. We can hardly just suggest that they all go and work in the auto industry.

There’ll always be arguments about funding priorities. And it seems hard to argue with maintaining funding to the Arts when we’re cutting money to women’s refuges. Of course, it could also be argued that it seems strange to spending money “raising awareness” of domestic violence when we’re cutting the services to the help the victims. But as has been pointed out many times, we can always find the money for an extra jail or an extra ten jets. It’s only Health, Education, The Arts and Welfare that has to fight it out for a share of an ever diminishing bucket of money.

And many of the Arts projects being cut are to things like Shopfront Theatre which has several programs aimed at disaffected youth and people with disabilities.

When you flick through the turnover of the top 100 companies who pay little or no tax, you have to conclude that their managers are either incompetent for not being able to generate a better rate of return, or determined not to contribute to the infrastructure that they all use. (I don’t think there’s a need for a poll on that one!)

Yet we have a Federal Government who resolutely sticks to the idea that we don’t have a revenue problem, and that nobody is cheating the system apart from those on welfare who – in spite of successive governments since the days of Malcolm Fraser as PM “cracking down” on payments – are still managing to rip billions off.

Daniel Kahneman (“Thinking Fast And Slow”) makes the point that humans don’t understand really big numbers.* When we hear about the billions in the Budget it seems an enormous amount, but when you compare it to the trillions in the economy and the potential billions that can be generated by the government encouraging a few strategic areas, then our $37 billion deficit is nothing. Cutting, cutting, cutting, on the other hand, just exacerbates the lack of revenue because all the cuts have a flow-on effect to other industries.

The Arts is one area where a small amount of support may improve the Budget’s bottom line.

*A great example of people’s inability to comprehend really large numbers is Victoria’s East-West link. Ignoring the fact that Labor are getting more flack for tearing up the contract than the Liberals are getting for signing it without a proper business case, it may be time to reflect on something apart from the sunk cost of a billion dollars (about $200 million of which is the houses which were bought for the project but which are still an assett which can be resold). The total cost of the project was to estimated to be $17 billion if built without adding anything because costs always blow out under Labor (They always blow out under the Liberals too, but nobody seems to bring that up). Dividing that by the number of Victorians, I suggest that we crowdfund the project with everyone contributing about $3000 each. I expect all supporters of the project to promise that within the hour. Or would some supporters be happy to get out of it with the $200 each which the government has already paid?

 

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16 comments

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  1. Anthony Element (@observationpt)

    On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine more pitiable people.
    A life without art.
    What would be the point?

  2. Anthony Element (@observationpt)

    I was thinking a bit more about this and I suddenly remembered that I do know someone who holds similar views.
    And he spends his down time reading graphic novels.
    Go figure!

  3. jim

    This reminds me of the inquisition where women accused of being a witch would be drowned or hung for the slightest thing, for being “too smart for their own good” you see the Liberals don’t want anyone to be overly “smart” because they’re NOT.

  4. townsvilleblog

    Some art is great, some not so, as with Muslims some are terrorists are some are not, when I can pick one from the other I’ll be happy.

  5. diannaart

    Rossleigh

    ” But as has been pointed out many times, we can always find the money for an extra jail or an extra ten jets. It’s only Health, Education, The Arts and Welfare that has to fight it out for a share of an ever diminishing bucket of money.”

    Strange how that works…

    Townsevilleblog

    Just a thought, you are far more likely to meet up with a rapist, than a Muslim terrorist – and rapists, well they just look like anyone…

    cheers

  6. lawrencewinder

    Just the sort of whingeing, namby-pamby, flaccid, leftie, simpering b/s one would expect to a solid fact driven hard-Roskam-right, IPA rant! I mean, how can you compare the Aussie Ballet to an F-24…. well you can actually…. both don’t get off the ground for very long…and neither are very dangerous. It’s really what “Jim” says: the Liarbrils are closet socialists… they want everyone to be at their level of stupidity.

  7. Wally

    Cutting, cutting, cutting, on the other hand, just exacerbates the lack of revenue because all the cuts have a flow-on effect to other industries.

    Why is it so hard for greedy people (and the LNP) to understand that we all prosper if money is shared around? I was always told money is made round to go around, that is how economies work.

    Projects always run over budget because accountants use NPV (Net Present Value) to make the returns from the project look more promising than they possibly can be. When I was taught to use NPV I believed it was flawed and cost blowouts on major projects are proof that this method of estimating the cost of a project cannot be accurate.

    NAV takes into account the devaluation of money over time so funding for later years of a project is considered to cost less than what is estimated today but they do not factor in increased cost of labour and materials in that time. If labour and materials do not increase the money will not devalue so unless you must make adjustments for increased costs and the devaluing of money.

    In reality wages and materials will increase in cost and money will be worth less over time if adjustments are mode for both the real project cost would be close to the original estimate plus inflation, it certainly will not cost less like accountants try to make the project owners believe,

    http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/021115/what-formula-calculating-net-present-value-npv-excel.asp

  8. silkworm

    This is quite a change from your usual satirical posts, Rossleigh, but in any case, it’s a really, really excellent post.

  9. Kaye Lee

    The potato or the rose?

    As every high school debater can tell you, one sustains life, the other makes it worth living.

    Anyone who thinks we need to spend more on the military will never be interested in cost/benefit analysis or priorities. We spend about $100 million a day on defence. It is craziness – profligate waste.

  10. Sen Nearly Ile

    diannart rapists just look like anyone in half the population? Spot on Kaye, the military used to cost less, used to train its workforce and release skilled tradies. Since little johnnie outsourced everything to ‘consultants’. costs have spiraled and will continue to spiral as with all private enterprises(especially schools) get their fingers into public cash.

  11. Greg

    The only real terrorist I see in this country is the LNP and their supporters , sprouting hate and trying to dividing communities to further their own aims , when you constantly single out minority groups and point fingers using hard right rhetoric there will be one or two from those minorities that get sick and tired of it an react , this is off cause the aim of such LNP attacks on minorities as can be seen with the former PM , every time there was a chance of some of their actions with either trade agreements , giving out government contracts to foreign national countries being questioned or tabled they yelled out terrorist , if you look at what they call welfare cheats , well sadly yes there have been a few , but look at the sums of what they said they have saved from these so called cheats and compare them to the over spending of parliamentary perks , if we cut all the subsidies to mining and did in fact force tax payments from multinational companies there will be hardly any cuts needed to any crucially needed department , also have a freeze to parliamentary pay rises , after all whats good for the goose is good for the gander

    terrorism
    ˈtɛrərɪzəm/
    noun
    noun: terrorism

    the unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

  12. Chris

    Cuts to arts funding in the way that the Liberals do it is very much an attack on young people. It is mostly young people who will really miss out here.

  13. diannaart

    @Chris

    Cuts to arts funding in the way that the Liberals do it is very much an attack on young people

    I think you are on to something there – just off the top of my head – combine de-funding Arts with attempts to derail youth-vote, such as:

    opposing lowering voting age to 16
    6 month wait before eligible for welfare
    huge increase in university costs

    there’s a pattern emerging, which makes me wonder how the Young Liberals manage to attract ANY young people at all.

    @Sen Nearly Ile

    I do believe you have missed my point, perhaps deliberately, perhaps not. However, in case you genuinely misunderstood, I was pointing out that people who harm other people tend not to differ much in appearance from peaceful types – irrespective of race, religion or gender. Also that the total number of Muslim terrorists in Australia are vastly outnumbered by violent Australians.

    @mars08

    Barbara Eden wants to have a word with you…

  14. jim

    I was wondering why some hate Muslims, and it struck me that a lot just hate religion of any kind so the line gets blurred as to how many actually hate Muslims and those that just hate all religions like I’m of the hate all religion so hmmm. NO GODS PLEASE.

  15. Pingback: If We Could Just Rid Of Muslims And The Arts… – » The Australian Independent Media Network | olddogthoughts

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