Thursday, February 12, 2009

The state of our economy is.... cracked.

But really... as much as I'd like to see the City of San Diego having the money to fix up such vital infrastructures like its water and sewage system and the surface of many main roads that go right by tourist attractions like this potholed intersection of Harbor Drive and Ash Street on the Embarcadero (right by the Star of India, for Pete's sake!), it is with horror that I read of how the senate had voted to specifically exclude the arts (museums included) from benefiting from the stimulus bill with the 'it isn't stimulative to the economy' rationale.

The last time I checked, performance arts institutions and museums are major employers and drive nearby local business! People who go to the opera have to get there and park ($) and eat ($) and even shop ($)... if not at the opera house, then at the restaurants and shops nearby ($). The art is a sort of cultural heritage that doesn't usually regenerate properly if let die. We stand to lose a lot with all these ballets and symphonies and opera companies (etc) going under. These companies hire skilled workers! Just because it is 'high art' doesn't mean that it doesn't require real people to operate rather than imaginary ones!


Georg said...

Hallo Smorgy,

Being an economist by schooling I can only bow to your analysis. The arts as well as sponsoring beauty in a city are absolutely vital to attract tourists or simply residents.

Many city councils all over the western world don't seem to understand this and then wonder why the tourist business is lagging or why people move away simply to earn one or two dollars more, elsewhere. Nothing holds them back. And ceretainly not an rustbelt environment.


Smorg said...

Hallo Georgy,

Thanks very much for the confirmation! :o) I think economic was probably one of my weakest subjects in college, so it's a relief to see that I didn't screw this up after all.

Yup, where I came from in the Midwest there isn't as many tourist attractions as they have here in San Diego. It's amazing to me how the folks here in California don't seem to want to take care of the things that draw others (and their money) to the city.

Someone in another forum posted an essay lamenting about how much money Los Angeles spent providing security for Michael Jackson's funeral last month. I bet that event generated a lot more tax dollars from all those people flocking into town than the cost of police coverage. :oP I thought free market folks would realize that one has to spend some money to make money (they just want to not pay any tax and not spend any money... and then complain about how sluggish the economy is. It's a strange condition here of always wanting other people to spend but not themselves. Ugghh!).