Showing posts from November 13, 2011

Occupy Lincoln Center (part 2)

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" -- Matthew 7: 3 (English Standard Version)Yesterday, in the first part of this series, I compared the income and wealth disparities in the American economy to that of the philanthropic support of the nonprofit arts economy. It didn't come out too well. The income gap between the top 2% of arts organizations (those with annual budgets of over $5M) and the remaining 98% was twice a great as the income gap in the economy as a whole.  I think that should make us all stop an consider a wee bit, because the situation in the economy as a whole is really, really bad.

The wealth comparison came out better than the income comparison, but only because I switched data sets to the TCG membership, which isn't representative of the nonprofit scene as a whole. Of the 160 theatres who were included in the TCG Theatre Facts roundup, only 14 of them (8.75%) had annual budgets und…

Occupy Lincoln Center (part 1)

(First in a series)

As I write these lines, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been protesting for two months that the top 1% of Americans take home roughly 25% of the nation's total income, a shocking statistic that is very difficult to justify morally or politically. For the sake of illustration: if there were 100 people dividing a million dollars, it would look like this:
1 person would receive $250,000The remaining 99 would each receive $7575The ratio is about 33: 1Sets my liberal blood a'boiling. Of course, this isn't how it works out in reality. While the 1% is correct, the 99% would not be evenly distributed -- some would get more, some much less. But for the sake of simplicity, we'll use this model. 

The OWS movement, and now all the similar movements across the nation and the world, has effectively changed the narrative in discussions about the American and global economy -- suddenly, we are all part of the 99% -- and artists and non-profits have, overall, been …