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View Diary: Bread and Roses (New Deal TRAP murals) (135 comments)

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  •  One of the smart aspects... (8+ / 0-)

    ...of FDR's unprecedented funding for artists of all kinds, as part of an economic recovery program, is that we're not really enthusiastic about working outside of our fields. Painters like to paint, actors like to act, musicians like to play instruments, writers like to write, and when we end up working in offices, factories or fields we are extremely unhappy campers and not as productive as workers as most folks.

    By taking artists out of workplaces where so many others really want and value having a job there, it lessens unemployment among those that really do want to work at 9-5 gigs. So beyond the propaganda and cultural benefits of having put all those artists to work at their own trades, it freed up jobs for others.

    (Even the conservative economist Milton Friedman has noted this factor with his call for a "minimum income" in which artists and other slackers could "opt out" of the workforce, get a small income from the government each year to do what they want, even if it's to do nothing, and then there'd be room in the workplace for those that truly do want to work. I've often thought I'd take that deal in a New York minute.)

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