Federal Funding Debate + GRE Issue Essay Practice #2

28 Apr

3:34 PM

Brainstorm:

“As long as people in a society are hungry or out of work or lack the basic skills needed to survive, the use of public resources to support the arts is inappropriate—and, perhaps, even cruel—when one considers all the potential uses of such money.”

Point:  Supporting the arts is irresponsible if there is need in society which is the most basic and exigent place to spend public resources.

Opposing:  Though the arts don’t put food on the table, having them available to the majority is valuable to society.

+When we have to chose between a child getting fed and clothed verses funding extraneous culturally enriching activities, it is a no-brainer which should receive priority funding.

+People camping in tents on Skid Row could benefit in a tangible way from money wasted on unnecessary art.

+When people in this country are in dire poverty, it is not just those individuals that suffer.  Our productivity as a nation suffers, as does our global image.

+Addicts who lack the basic skills to survive, impede the happiness of everyone in society.  They are regularly participating in crime, engaging in unsightly activity in the streets, and using up enforcement, judicial, and incarceration resources.

+ We have a responsibility to care for those less fortunate than ourselves in society–giving money to the upper-echelon while lower classes suffer would be a travesty.

-Without the arts, life would be austere and boring.

-The arts enrich our lives by fostering creativity and outside-the-box thinking.

-Who is to say funding the arts is hurtful to society?

Take a Stand:  

Though I think funding the arts in times the economy is doing well is important to foster creativity and asthetics, society has to err on the practical side of things when money is tight.  We could not in good consciousness allow a child to go hungry while giving extraneous endeavors, whatever they may be public funds.

3:54 for brainstorming (20 of 45 min)

4:04

“As long as people in a society are hungry or out of work or lack the basic skills needed to survive, the use of public resources to support the arts is inappropriate—and, perhaps, even cruel—when one considers all the potential uses of such money.”

The issue of where to spend tax money is a controversial one, just look at how our politicians struggled last week to decide on the final budget.  They almost shut down the federal government because they could not come to a decision!  Every advocate and organization can present a good case as to why they need more funding.  Food benefits, unemployment pay, and job training are all practical ways for the country to spend public funds.  On the other side of the coin, galleries, parks, and music education are important for enjoyment and recreation and enrich us as a people.  In the final analysis however, I support the more tangible benefits gleaned from spending tax payer money in practical ways such as welfare programs, rather than giving what little money we have to extraneous sources such as the arts.

My difficult decision which favors giving money to people in need over handing it to culturally enriching programs is simply prioritizing who needs the money more.  For instance, when weighing hungry children with youth eager to learn an instrument, I have to side with the basic necessity of food.  In addition, looking at spending resources on people who just got laid off from their job trying to make ends meet verses spectators wanting to look at art in a museum for enjoyment it is evident that I have to side with the needy people of our country.  As a third example of prioritizing needs, I would have to choose funding shelters for the homeless rather than parks for the public to enjoy.  Sure, artistic endeavors are beneficial for society.  They help people think outside of the box, foster creativity, and lend asthetic appreciation of culture.  When times are bad and people are suffering it is more imperative that we help people struggling to survive.  Just like our political leaders, I do not want to have to make choices, and would prefer to fund both the  necessary and the enjoyable, but in bad economic times, I have to choose the most dire.

Aside from being a bigger priority, funding need awkward!  does not just help the individuals benefiting from the public resources.  When the streets are free from homeless addicts and petty theft is minimized we are all better off.  To illustrate:  Having a Skid Row costs us money in the long run.  Enforcement for petty desperation-driven crimes ends up costing the taxpayer money.  Maybe if these people had shelter, they would not be engaging in prostitution on the streets.  Certainly if people were given enough food and trained for employment, they would not have to steal to meet their most basic of needs.  When drug addicts are arrested and go through the court system, it again, costs the tax payer money.  Institutionalizing people in mental health facilities and incarcerating them in prisons also takes away public funds.  Giving money to the arts instead of cleaning up Skid Row is detrimental to our entire country.

A second grade boy looks at his dingy sock poking through the hole in his tattered sneaker as he walks to the bus stop in the crisp morning air.  He is wearing his ripped jeans, his mother’s least favorite, because she was still at her second job when he left the apartment.  As the little boy waits for his ride to school his stomach growls furiously. . .  We have a responsibility to assist those less fortunate.  Clearly, children should not be forced to miss a meal because it is a greater priority of our society to fund artistic programs.  It is a blight on America’s overall productivity, not to mention global image when we have destitute people living on the streets, while the upper classes enjoy art.  We cannot in good consciousness pour money into unnecessary pursuits while our future generations starve.  As a union, we need to make sure everyone’s basic needs are met before putting any public funds into organizations pandering fun.  Redundant I side with giving public funds to those that need to meet their most basic of needs before giving it to extraneous, though culturally-enriching arts programs because I have a responsibility as an American to do so.  State a clear and specific example instead of reiterating my generalization.

Though we really enjoy the benefits of art, love having recreation available in the form of public parks, and are creatively indulged when learning and listening to music, it is more important to make sure everyone in the country reaches a certain minimum threshold of survival before giving funds to the fun stuff.  Though I feel the arts are important, I do not think they are exigent when people are faced with a lack of shelter, food, and work.  If ever there is a plethora of funds, by all means let’s increase funding to the arts, but until then we have to prioritize as a country and help the lowest end of the spectrum just eek out a survival first.

4:46 PM (4 min? over time alloted)

No time to read over and edit

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