Profit not primary goal of the arts
Regarding “Beware of government spending on the arts” (Nov. 29 Letters to the Editor): Though I understand the letter writer’s motivations, his argument is contingent on a limited understanding of what art is.
Like many, the writer has confused art with entertainment. Though both are worthy of our time, their purposes are different.
Entertainment is created with the motivation of making money by reaching a broad audience and providing enjoyment in our daily lives. Though art can do that, its primary responsibility is to produce works that can be challenging, powerful and sometimes beautiful.
Art tells the story of the cultures in which it exists. It is not a commodity. It is not safe. It is not necessarily easy. And profit is not its primary goal.
Though government funding for the arts is incredibly small – only 1.5 percent for the city of Wichita, based on the 2015-16 adopted budget – the impact on arts organizations in the city is great. This small amount of funding allows our local arts community to continue to function, and it does monetarily benefit our city (despite the writer’s claims).
Like other public services, the cultural benefit of the arts deserves continued public investment.
Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn, Wichita
OK to micro nap
“Micro naps,” or short naps, are becoming increasingly acceptable in several profession. I do not see anything wrong with police officers using micro naps to be ready for the next call (“Asleep at the patrol car wheel? Photos of cop under investigation,” Nov. 29 Eagle). What really needs a fix is their salaries.
Rasheed Khan, Wichita
I’m concerned about domestic violence-related homicides, not only in our country but especially in the state of Kansas.
Federal law prohibits an individual convicted of a domestic-violence misdemeanor, or an individual subject to a protective order, from possessing firearms, ammunition or explosives for the length of time the protective order is in effect. However, many individual state laws do not reflect the same protective stance as the federal mandate, Kansas included.
I have worked directly with survivors of domestic violence in the Hutchinson area for the past four years. Not once have I heard judges mention firearm-relinquishment laws after finalizing protection orders.
Research suggests that more than half of all protective orders are violated, and that individuals with a protection-from-abuse or protection-from-stalking order in place are more likely to have a firearm used against them. According to the FBI, from 2003 to 2012, there were 122 domestic violence-related homicides in Kansas, with 53.3 percent killed by a perpetrator using a gun.
I urge anyone who is willing to support the fight to end domestic violence to contact legislators to establish state laws to further protect victims of domestic violence.
Dively Zarate, Hutchinson
“Laughable curve” (Nov. 22 Letters to the Editor) apparently was humorously referring to the Laffer curve, but the letter referred only to “trickle down.”
There is no recognized economic theory formulating “trickle down,” and if there were, it would not be related to the Laffer curve – which is solely about tax revenue, and postulates that there is a tax rate beyond which revenues will decrease.
The trickle-down hypothesis is that savings have a salutary impact on the economy. It contends that the wealthy are the least likely to place their savings under a mattress. Instead, they will invest it in commercial activities that benefit all classes.
OK, they might buy yachts and mansions. But would other upper-class folks be the ones to build them? Also, the rich are more likely to contribute to charities – again helpful to lower classes.
The writer also stated that only the government has the resources to stimulate demand when the economy tanks. So apparently increasing taxes on the wealthy at such times won’t hack it.
Harry R. Clements, Wichita
Prior to the Fidel Castro-led revolutionary takeover, Cuba was a fairly prosperous island nation. Things are strikingly different today, and we have benefited from those refugees who fled to our shores and who now celebrate his passing.
The high rate of literacy in Cuba has two aspects. On one hand, it is good the citizens read and write. On the other hand, it reflects the powerful propaganda environment that reinforces the rigid dictatorship.
In our country, we have regular elections to chose new leaders. For example, our new president-elect was chosen because of the widespread belief that he would improve our static economy. Cuba will endure the Castro family rule as long as they live. The same appears to be true of the seemingly perpetual Vladimir Putin rule in Russia.
Richard Gilmartin, Wichita
What Trump say
Just a note for media people who keep trying to understand what Donald Trump says and what he means. Sorry, folks, it can’t be done. We can only go by what he does, and most of that is forthcoming – sometimes referred to as “the next episode.”
Philip H. Schneider, Wichita
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