Blogs May 17, 2010 at 9:49 am


"We have museums and exhibition halls and rich people with money to throw at creative people who don't. Maybe I'm missing something and this is already happening here."

This is why they are rich and you are not. If the rich people had been throwing their money at creative types they would not be rich anymore. People get rich by being miserable miserly penny pinchers.
@1, not true. This is why I am rich and you are not.
Where's our WPA-style project for re-imagining this city?

New York City has an income tax. We don't, and we have constitutional limits on how much debt we can create at the state and municipal levels. So when the economy tanks here, local government spending can't be used to prop it up with public works projects. Which is a shame, because that time -- the recession -- is when labor and materials are cheapest, so it's actually kind of the best time to do large public works projects.
@3: Okay, I'm with you there. But where's the Federal WPA-style project for re-imagining America?

I ask this somewhat as a joke, because I know the answer (and it seems like maybe so do you): Americans don't do this kind of stuff anymore. Investments like WPA's are probably a thing of the past. Recessions used to be times we came together. Now we just hate each other. It is nice to know, though, that there are some places we are still coming together, rare and local though they may be.

Anyways, curious post.
well, golly, hard to tell the haves and have nots? Dunno what either of you has re "wealth", but do know I haven't seen too many people (boat owners being the potential exception) of any variety "throwing money" at anyone or anything in the past 40 or 50 years. I do know the IRS provides lots of ways that folks can donate to the cause of their choice, and get a small say (deductions) in how their tax money is spent. I also know that the hundreds of corporate art collections in town are mainly curated by fewer than a half dozen people. Not exactly a formula for diversity or creativity. Of course, a person with money can always buy art and donate to a museum -- if the museum wants it -- assuming he can find creative local artists, not an easy thing to do through the existing gallery system in Seattle. There is a better chance for this in Tacoma where an arts community is developing outside the commercial gallery/museum structure; or in the small country galleries in outlying districts totally divorced from the Seattle art scene, but very plugged in to their own local community of artists.

So blame the system, not the people. If it weren't for wealthy people collecting art, there would be few museums in this country worth entering. But the system in Seattle is designed more to squelch creativity than to encourage it.

It's the system, folks, and the creativity and innovation it crushes.
we could use a WPA-style project for refurbishing our parks (how about some permanent bathrooms, not honey buckets) & FIXING THE FREAKING STREETS, not 're-imagining'. you, actually getting shit done, like the in the original WPA?
There is a glut of commercial property in the region.

Don't hold your breath.
There is a glut of commercial property in the region.

What does that have to do with anything?


I'm not even so interested in seeing anything like the WPA come back. A lot of the most important infrastructure work in the country was done during the Eisenhower Administration -- particularly the water pipes and sewage treatment plants that our entire country relies on. That period saw what would now be considered impossible expenditures on infrastructure that is now reaching the end of its useful life. WPA was always kind of a showcase project. But in order to protect our vital infrastructure, we'd actually need to invert our current budget priorities -- we'd basically have to take our entire defense budget and use it to replace and repair our current system.
@8 - oh, you want analysis? that's extra ...

1. Glut of commercial property means low tax revenues to fund such public works.

2. Glut of commercial property means new architecture fails to pass the sniff test - people tend to ask "why not use what's already there".

3. Glut of commercial property means voters don't tend to vote for such things - and Council already burned up their councilmanic bonding authority of Projects For The Rich.

Deal with it. Consequence ftw.

Please wait...

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