How government subsidies become censorship

«Pure science research drops sharply at National Research Council» (Ottawa Citizen, 2013-05-08)

We’re learning the danger in Canada of having let too many sectors become dependent on federal money. When the arts, NGOs, scientific research, many kinds of R&D business, and even our main national broadcaster all rely on government subsidies or funding, they’re all immediately vulnerable to any ideological shift in the government that doles out their money.

The Liberals created this dependency to ensure that the sectors would reflect their (central-Canadian, urban, moderate left) values in the 1990s, 70s, 60s, and earlier, but in doing so, they’ve handed a powerful weapon to their (western, suburban/rural, moderate right) successors and ideological opponents.

The US system has many problems of its own, but its relatively-independent arts sector — especially film, TV, and music — and the widespread existence of private universities and foundations, ensures that their government can’t entirely turn off the tap for arts, research, or NGO work that it doesn’t like.

About David Megginson

Scholar, tech guy, Canuck, open-source/data/information zealot, urban pedestrian, language geek, tea drinker, pater familias, red tory, amateur musician, private pilot.
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