Civitas Review

State Should Get Politics Out of Museums, Zoos, Historic Sites

By | Posted in Budget & Taxes |

The NC state legislature has commissioned a study of the state's "attractions" such as the zoo, museums and historic sites.

The study asks whether all the sites "can be consolidated in one department" and also to "review all sources of revenue generated by these attractions, including admissions fees, donations, and concessions sales" and to examine "revenue daily trends for these attractions to determine optimal operating schedules."

Lawmakers stated the major purpose of the review was to see if the sites are operating efficiently.

State Sen. Andrew Brock of Mocksville said the review was needed.

Among other things, Brock said, the study will look at whether some sites should have shorter or different hours, should charge higher fees and should offer gifts and other services to defray costs.

A much better idea would be to privatize these entities. Hours, staffing and fee decisions then will be decentralized and adapted to consumer demand and preferences by the owners of these sites based on their localized knowledge and true social feedback. No need for top-down, centralized micro-managing by the political class.

In recent budgets, the state has spent nearly $40 million subsidizing museums, aquariums and historic sites. And let's not forget the millions more in taxpayer dollars for the symphony, public TV, welcome centers, "tourism, film, and sport development" programs, etc.

For a state that claims to be broke and resorting to "draconian cuts" that will allegedly inflict "generational damage" to the future of millions of schoolchildren, where do they find tens of millions to finance such bread and circuses cultural attractions?

It is nowhere near the proper role of government to use its force to extract money from taxpayers to subsidize these leisure activities.

And save your comments using the centuries-old fallacy equating an opposition to government subsidizing of something to wanting to see that thing eliminated (i.e. "you want to shut down all museums and zoos!").

De-politicize these attractions and allow society to support those they value most through their voluntary fees and charitable donations. There is no place in a free society for the use of force to compel people to support these attractions.

2 Comments on this post

  • randwrong says:
    Dec 09 at 16:13

    Privitizing public services results in huge profits for a few and huge problems for the many… look up privitized prisons, trash removal services, even the health care arena – Privitizing simply lines indecent folks pockets.. so of course Civitas and ART POPE are leading this bandwagon full of propaganda.

  • R L Clark says:
    Dec 12 at 11:30

    My comments are from my experiences (1) 20 plus years career in the N C Executive Branch of State Government (2) 30 plus years as a retail business entrepreneur owning & operating my own businesses,(one destroyed by D O T taking of my real property without just constitutional reimbursement ( probably because of my political affilation). Serving at the pleasure of the Governor allowed me to see how truly corrupt the Democrat Power Structure is in N C. It's PAY for employment unless one is of the "right" party. In addition to the 2 careers I spent 2 terms(1995-1998) as a N C State Senator representing 5 WNC Counties sitting on a Senate Back row seat! In my opinion State Gov't has operated for 140 years to serve one political party in N C at the expense of the everyday working class and those that "toed" the Democrat party line.
    This is written from one who has been there and experienced it first hand!

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