Arts Tax


Frankly, I am not convinced that art education is something that should be provided by public schools in the first place. What is the benefit? If the goal of school is to prepare kids to be productive citizens, then is there really a need for art education at all? I don't recall hearing about anything like "remember when those hundreds of people died in the Great Art Shortage of '47." People who want to be artists will find a way, and people who don't want to be artists don't need to be convinced that they are wrong.
If you don't like the tax then get the fuck out of here. We voted for it as a majority so deal with it or hit the fucking road. No seriously - leave. Is someone holding a gun to your head telling you that you have to live here and they'll pull the trigger the moment you try to flee? Move to Texas - plain and simple - you stupid fuck. You're almost as dumb as the idiot who commented before me. "...the goal of school is to prepare kids to be productive citizens"? Where the fuck did you get that line from, Starship Troopers? Are you a Nazi? Sounds pretty fascist to me...
Woah, slow down there Turbo. If you think that the goal of public schools is something other than to prepare kids to be productive citizens, then I encourage you to tell us what that goal is. Who knows, maybe you could change a mind or two. If not, maybe we could have a calm, well-reasoned discussion about the purpose of public schools and the relation of art education to that purpose. For example, if you think that the goal of public school is to provide a babysitting service for parents, then I would say we probably don't need to be paying for masters-educated babysitters, nor do we need to make it mandatory. If you think that the goal of school is to provide a fun place for kids to hang out, then why are we making them take math classes? Comically, I chose "to prepare kids to be productive citizens," because I thought that it would be the least controversial goal. Either way, I would love to hear what you think public school is for.

Also, nice work on bringing out the pre-mature and and totally irrelevant Nazi reference so early in the discussion. That takes a rare combination of rhetorical skill and a complete lack of historical perspective, which is rare these days. Well done.
Arts provide a well-rounded education and expand creative thought.

If you're wondering how it helps graduation rate, arts are also fun for a lot of kids. It helps keep them interested in school. Didn't you have an art class, theatre class or music class you enjoyed? Lots of social cliques form in those types of classes, and if you've got friends based around activities in school you're more likely to stay in school.
Oh, and I forgot something: "if you don't like it then get out" is the kind of thing that I often hear from Republican culture warriors. It's a stupid thing to say when they say it, and it's a stupid thing to say here as well. Decisions are constantly in flux. The fact that a ballot measure passed this year does not mean that all related questions are instantly settled for all time. This measure is certainly the law of the land now, and I am happy to abide by it. My feelings on the issue aren't actually that strong. Yet, I firmly believe that people should always be asking questions about the value of our public policies, and we should only start to worry when we don't have clear and concise answers to those questions. When you blindly attack me for daring to question your position, it makes me wonder if your position is based on logic and science, or on some kind of religion-like faith.
I think the fundamental goal of education is to help people as they develop into fully formed human beings. It's not to make them "productive." The highest human goal is not to be a producer or consumer (and Americans do far more of the latter). Elementary school should mainly be about developing young people creatively, socially, etc. not filling them with facts and skills and testing them, though of course there is a place for that. This sounds like the same narrow world view that leads people to scoff at the "irrelevance" of the humanities in our universities.
Besides, as Kurt Vonnegut said, "We are here on earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!"
Aestro, that's a fair point. I had not considered that art education can help to keep otherwise disinterested kids in school. There is certainly a value there.

You asked if I had an art (or other class) that I enjoyed. I suppose I did. But, ultimately, I still dropped out at age 16. That may be part of the reason that I had not considered art classes as a means of keeping students in school. Of course, the fact that it didn't work for me does not mean that it won't work for others.

I still question the "well-rounded education" and expansion of "creative thought claims," but if there is good data showing that schools with arts programs have higher graduation rates, then my mind has been changed.
I definitely would not have graduated high school if it weren't for the arts. Granted my general failure as a student was largely due to the shittiness of the required classes and my own inability to give a fuck about most of them, but graduating allowed me to go to college, which I enjoyed and completed with a 3.7 GPA.

I'm not saying the other academic areas couldn't use some work, just that taking away the one thing that keeps a good number of students going to school is probably not a good way to boost graduation rates.
The arts are a profession. The website you're looking at? Artist made it. The billboard? Artist. The album covers, the sleek design of all those Apple products you paid too much for?

All of those corporate logos and TV commercials that get stuck in your head? Yep... artists hard at work and getting paid to do it. I could go on, but you get my point. The arts are a lot more than fun and games, it's a legitimate career path. Oh, and fuck graffiti, get some canvas kids!
"If you don't like the tax then get the fuck out of here. Move to Texas - plain and simple - you stupid fuck."

Ah, the motto of "tolerant" Portland: "If you don't agree with me precisely on everything, get the fuck out! Why don't you move to Beaverton?!"

Most often coming from someone who has lived here 5 years tops.

Nothing is more "progressive" than everyone in the city wandering around in a cocoon of politically-correct groupthink, parroting the party line out of terror of being attacked by a thought policeman like this commenter. Keeping the herd within the careful confines of the Portland hivemind while letting them believe that they are actually fringy rebels out there "keeping Portland weird".
Blabby, they won't like hearing that. I voted for funding for the arts, but Anon does have a very valid point.
Blabby: You misrepresented that comment, conveniently deleting from your quote: "deal with it or leave." The opinion was not "you disagree with me, so leave." When a majority votes on something, and it passes, deal with it somehow or move somewhere else seem like the two options. But yeah, you don't seem AT ALL paranoid with your ranting about PC groupthink, thought-police, and "hive-mind." It's obvious from nearly every one of your comments that you're obsessed with being pro-suburbs, anti-inner SE (or anywhere else the less affluent Portlanders live), anti-cyclist, ranting about the welfare state and the decay of life as we know it. Here's a suggestion: adjust to a healthier view of life in what's actually a pretty good city, or go somewhere you'd be happier.
So, you're responding to my post about telling people to leave, with an invitation to leave?

But, you're right "youaresofuckingdumb's" comment was well-argued, and not at all intemperate. Why, our greatest thinkers often use the terms "nazi", "fascist" and "Starship Troopers" in their arguments.
Committee, my guess is that you include "advocate for a change in the policy" as one of the many ways in which one may "deal with it." That was certainly not the tone of youaresofuckingdumb's comment. Maybe I misread it, but I got the impression that "deal with it or leave" meant "shut up and accept it or leave." Given the rest of the argument presented by youaresofuckingdumb, I think it's fair to assume that there was not a lot of nuance intended.
I never said the comment by "youaresofakingdumb" was totally rational and articulate. I was calling out Blabby's ridiculously over-the-top response and selective quote/paraphrase. Not surprisingly, he's provided another one, totally disingenuously saying I've offered "an invitation to leave" when in fact my suggestion (after years of reading negativity from him about Portland) was: "adjust to a healthier view of life in what's actually a pretty good city, or go somewhere you'd be happier."
Apparently Blabby understands neither the concept of either/or, nor the idea of adjusting to the place where you are so that you can be reasonably satisfied, or if that's impossible, then considering living somewhere else. It's the same thing as when commenter "D" spouts 100% negativity about Portland, mentions possibly leaving, but then apparently sticks around to continue the barrage of whining about Portland being a shithole full of human garbage. It gets old.
I'm sorry for the selective quote. Here is a more complete quote:

"If you don't like the tax then get the fuck out of here. We voted for it as a majority so deal with it or hit the fucking road. No seriously - leave. Is someone holding a gun to your head telling you that you have to live here and they'll pull the trigger the moment you try to flee? Move to Texas - plain and simple - you stupid fuck. You're almost as dumb as the idiot who commented before me."
Yeah, that's a quote all right. Now what's YOUR fucking point? (I already addressed the point you were making in reply to a straw man.) Or are you just here to waste sarcastic keystrokes in order to say nothing?
Just want to remind everyone that pretty much all of you jumped on the jackass who threw out the "if you don't like it, leave" syllogism we all like so much. So you can't really say it's Portland saying that; more like one asshole on the internet.
Actually Committee, my first post said what I needed to say. Now I'm just fucking with you.
I think the art classes should have been held each and every cancelled school day; about 50 school days lower than the national average in an academic year. That's a lot of art classes at no additional cost considering the teachers are still being paid for their furlough days. Granted, my idea does not take art supplies into account, but I thought that's what bake sales and raffles were for?
"So all I ask is that PPS teach it's future 40% failing students some graffiti."

Teachers don't get paid for furlough days.
I'm inclined to think that before we start spending oodles of money on art classes (or science and math), that we should consider making philosophy education a priority instead.

It seems to me that many of the problematic social issues we can't seem to make headway on are either directly caused by poor reasoning skills, or perpetuated by the inability of a largely irrational public to find and deliver reasonable solutions. Who could argue that someone should never be too rational, or think too critically and analytically about a social, economic, or foreign policy issue? Can you?

If the goal of public education is to foster an informed and engaged public, then I'm inclined to say that philosophy is a big part of the cure for what ails us. The arts and humanities are wonderful, and I would never want to cut funding for them, nor would I want to do the same to math and science...

But what they all intend to do, peripherally, is foster critical reasoning and rational thought. Why not engage with a curricula that seeks to foster those same goals as its *primary* function, instead?

Rarely do I ever hear ideas that make me want to cheer out loud. I would pay any tax requested for a program like that.
How much of this 'arts tax' is going to the schools, percentage-wise anyway? Isn't it somewhere just over 50%?
Most charities can do better than that.
And let's not forget the 4.5 people that have to be hired to collect and administer the tax at the Portland Dept of Revenue, as opposed to normal channeling more funds to schools.
And trust the school system to allocate funds as it sees fit.
REGRESSIVE TAXES are bullshit, as so is this tax.
Didn't vote for this. I don't have kids and have no plans to start making 'em. I don't care if your kids get to play around with paint and clay and shit. Similarly, I don't care if your kids' teeth rot out of their skulls-- so I'm voting no on fluoride, too. "But think of the children!" you shout. Yeah, I am thinking about them. Mostly about how stuff done for their benefit has pretty much no benefit to me.