Friday, April 20, 2007

Importing Democrats

The free market has failed. Yes, you read that correctly. Forget everything I have ever said about the virtues of capitalism. It is time for some government intervention. The free market is simply not producing enough artists.

The notion that artists will somehow save Racine is gaining strength again. Never mind that it didn't work the first time. Remember, 6th Street is the "Heart of the Arts" district. Yes, there are a few galleries remaining and a theatre, but the big push for an arts district hasn't really panned out. Anyway, it seems that now Uptown will be the new arts district and that our local government will make it happen, again.

I must humbly question this strategy. I think the market is telling us something. Artists don't make much money typically. If there were a real shortage, they would be making more money.

But the thinking is that artists will bring more to the table than just art. They will change neighborhoods, make things interesting etc, etc... all of which will foster economic development. I don't know about all that, but this much I do know; artists, more often than not, lean left. Offering leftists financial incentives to come to Racine is a brilliant political strategy for Democrats. But is it good for Racine? I think not.


Anonymous said...

interesting and funny spin on this. i think you may have a point. anon1

Anonymous said...

artists can bring a neighborhood back from the brink, but it usually happens organically, without help from city hall. artists are attracted to cheap housing with studio space, with close proximity to art buyers. Examples - Wicker Park in Chicago and Riverwest in Milwaukee. But these neighborhoods became artist "colonies" (one of the stupider names for such a neighborhood) spontaneously, not because some politician gave tax incentives, etc. And they eventually gentrified, and priced those very artists out of the neighborhoods they helped to save.