Free Public Funding for the Arts and Science Essay Sample
The government has a mandate to manage public affairs and collect tax or raise other funds to achieve this obligation. The extent to which governments participate in society depends on the type of market or government a particular nation adopts. This is because there are several types of governments ranging form totalitarian to democratic and some being somewhere in the middle. The United States is a democratic nation with a democratically elected government, and this poses certain restrictions to the manner and areas the government can directly involve itself. The same government is bound by the provisions of the constitution, and any deviance from this supreme document is subject to popular resistance or legal challenge. One area, which has received a mixed reaction among different people and the two main parties, is in the area of funding arts and science programs. Available literature and prevalent people’s opinions have shown that sciences and arts are important for the advancement of knowledge and the preservation of culture and, therefore, should continue to receive public funding.
Reasons why Public Funding Should Continue
There are many reasons for public funding of the arts and any person who argues against them is hypocritical or ignorant. While the constitution does not entirely mandate government to tax people for the sake of funding such programs, society relies on its own better judgment to cater for changes in society and meet the demands of advancement in civilization and culture.
As far as the arts are concerned, funding ensures the continued cultivation of talents in diverse areas like acting, painting, music among others as a way of creating employment. This is in line with the government’s objective of economic development and reduction of unemployment even as this benefits everyone through reduced vices and reduced crime rates. Public funding through organizations like the National Endowment of Arts benefits not just individuals but institutions like museums and others in the business of preserving history and promoting culture. Some scholars have argued that while society has a duty to preserve knowledge and culture, this duty is not extended to the pursuit of new knowledge or nurturing of culture (Rushton, 2000). To stop public funding, as some Republicans have set out to do, will erase all the benefits achieved so far and create more social problems than the value of revenue they plan to divert elsewhere.
Sciences, on the other hand, have been credited with great advancements in all facets of life. Patients are able to get access to better services and increased recovery rates due to better technologies and advanced methodologies. We have achieved a better understanding of nature and how it affects us and allow us to create a better relationship with our environment. Technology has brought new economical opportunities and helps create wealth and employment. Technology has revolutionized the way we travel and communicate and has made the world a smaller and better place. All this has become possible through research and a good number of it through public funding, either at school level or through grants. To take away funding is to lock out some brilliant researchers and reduce the level of innovation and inventions in our society and create a possibility for other nations to surpass us in technology. Funding of scientific research has to be encouraged since innovations and inventions lead to the creation of wealth, social development and enhancement of national security (Martin, 2007).
Though we must listen to the voices of those calling for an end to public funding of arts and sciences, it is necessary to remind them of the importance both areas play in the advancement and preservation of society. If we succumb to these voices, we risk becoming an uncultured society and losing our edge in technological innovations and inventions; potentially posing a great threat to our national security.