Cultural vouchers for Italian 18-year-olds

by on August 25, 2016 at 2:38 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

Thanks to a government initiative, all teen residents who reach that milestone this year will be given a “Cultural Bonus”—a cool €500 to spend on movies, books, theater and concert tickets, museums, and national parks, reports The Local.

From an economic point of view, such vouchers can make good sense, as Alan Peacock used to stress.  Nonetheless they take away two of the big reasons why arts funding is politically popular.  The vouchers do not offer well-defined benefits to specific suppliers (read: interest groups), and the government cannot affiliate very directly with specific popular or prestigious projects.

In terms of stimulus, this is less likely to boost employment than many public works projects.  A lot of cultural goods are local public or club goods, supplied beyond the point of congestion.  In other words, just let one more person sit in the movie theater.  That does, however, mean lots of pure profit for suppliers of reproducible popular culture.

Here is the Cara Giamo article at Atlas Obscura.

1 Ray Lopez August 25, 2016 at 2:41 pm

0 comments? Y?

2 Ray Lopez August 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Also if the vouchers are non “one-off” as they say in the UK, it bids up the cost of culture. For this very reason the generations long (at least 50 years) US farm subsidies have made it now so that if the subsidies were to be removed (over $100B 25 years ago, and possibly $200 B now) the market price of US farm produce would be below the production cost. That’s how addicted US farmers are to subsidies. But the big mega-farms like them, as they are agribusinesses run by multi-millionaires, especially the cotton plantations.

3 Ray Lopez August 25, 2016 at 2:46 pm

And the US sugar plantations, and the US ethanol farms, and the Cali almond farms, etc etc etc James Bovard is the expert in this area.

4 albigensian August 25, 2016 at 3:12 pm

I read this as, you get one voucher when you turn 18. And you won’t get another unless you can figure out how to become 17 again.

I don’t doubt that a good deal of creativity will be expended in attempts to capture the value of these vouchers.

5 dearieme August 25, 2016 at 4:18 pm

“And you won’t get another unless you can figure out how to become 17 again.” It’s Italy, for heaven’s sake.

6 Mark Thorson August 25, 2016 at 4:39 pm

I suppose this is bullish for the Italian porn industry.

7 MatteoZ August 25, 2016 at 3:08 pm

as I said before, we are the best to waste public money,

8 Thor August 26, 2016 at 11:11 am

Not so! This is an excellent investment in the idea that gov’t handouts are cool.

9 chuck martel August 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm

“In terms of stimulus, this is less likely to boost employment than many public works projects.”

That didn’t seem to be the point of the program.

10 AKatz August 25, 2016 at 3:10 pm

I’m not sure what “supplied beyond the point of congestion” means here. That there is so much supply that congestion can’t take place? Or that the supply is congested? Or that the supply of cultural goods is already congested?

Ray, if Tyler means what I think he does (that supply is so much that congestion is essentially impossible) then I doubt it would bid up the price. Also, there are no comments because most of the commenters here don’t seem to give a damn about cultural products. “People who know the price of everything and the value of nothing” is essentially a definition of those interested in or practicing economics and economic theory.

Tyler, how different would this subsidy be if only offered in the context of non-reproducible cultural products (theater, parks, concerts, etc.) instead of movies and books (which seem to be doing just fine on their own?

11 Millian August 25, 2016 at 4:48 pm

A subsidy for self-driving cars driven by people is fine.

12 Ryan August 25, 2016 at 3:27 pm

I’m more confused as to how they plan on eliminating arbitrage. How many kids will sell their vouchers or purchased goods at less than face value for cash?

13 kevin August 26, 2016 at 10:09 am

Ehh.. thats a problem with just about any subsidy. I believe thats why governments usually subsidize producers not consumers.

14 Tarrou August 25, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Is the state of Italy so flush with cash they can afford this? Or have I been seriously mislead by economics journalism?

15 JWatts August 26, 2016 at 4:09 pm

It’s less about the amount of cash on hand, and more about the amount of votes it will buy. There’s a reason that 18 was the age chosen.

16 The Other Jim August 25, 2016 at 4:52 pm

… thus causing a rush of Italian teenagers looking to sell their vouchers for actual cash.

I’d imagine the supply will be so high that they will happily accept 50 Euro.

17 Agammamon August 25, 2016 at 6:04 pm

“From an economic point of view, such vouchers can make good sense”

Why? I mean, they make better sense than direct subsidies to favored institutions but they don’t make sense from an economic point of view. Because wouldn’t that entail ending the subsidies all together and allowing the market to work out what part of ‘culture’ deserves support?

18 Luca1000 August 25, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Just self advertisement for the current Italian government, who instead should better avoid wasting money and resources in arbitrary handouts (for example, what about teenagers born just one day to early or too late to get the vouchers?). Lower wasteful public spending, lower taxes on labor, better and faster judiciary system, more competition, better education system: these should be the priorities to improve the lives of all the teenagers and of the whole population in Italy. Period.

19 Steve Adams August 25, 2016 at 7:18 pm

“From an economic point of view, such vouchers can make good sense” and from a moral point of view they simply confirm that most government is just theft and has thus has no moral high ground to oblige people to obey them.

20 AlexR August 25, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Are Government Vouchers Net Wealth?
As a parent of an 18 year year old, I’d say no.

21 Will August 25, 2016 at 8:05 pm

So France is trying to protect its culture with command-and-control regulation at the beach, while Italy opts for subsidies.

22 Donald Pretari August 25, 2016 at 9:35 pm

I think it’s a good idea based, as you say, upon the views of Alan Peacock.

23 Shane M August 25, 2016 at 10:47 pm

Where I used to live we prefer to give these type of “vouchers” to football teams to build giant stadiums. It supports a form of culture and is supposedly good for the economy – at least for the bars and hotels in town.

24 prior_test2 August 26, 2016 at 1:13 am

‘Nonetheless they take away two of the big reasons why arts funding is politically popular.’

Do tell how European cultures like Italy, France, and Germany view the politics of arts funding.

‘The vouchers do not offer well-defined benefits to specific suppliers (read: interest groups)’

The Virginia School interpretation in this case seems to fail to understand that the respective interest groups supporting arts funding are the Italians, the French, and the Germans, groups that do so to a major extent out of a sense that a nation is not measured by money, but by that which it creates and treasures, even if only as an inheritor of the past.

‘the government cannot affiliate very directly with specific popular or prestigious projects’

Sorry, but this is truly ignorant of how things work. For example, those Italian teens will be spending the money on Italian culture (well, to the extent that movies are dubbed or books translated, at least). The Italian government remains affiliated with the popular and prestigious project of continuing Italian culture. Ask an Italian – they tend to be quite proud of their culture, at least in my experience.

The sad thing is, the cost of the entire program, at roughly 1 billion euros, won’t even buy the Italian military more than a generous handful of fully equipped F35s.

25 msgkings August 26, 2016 at 10:51 am

There’s no way it’s a good idea to let the Italian military anywhere near such dangerous hardware. They might hurt themselves.

26 Thor August 26, 2016 at 11:16 am

Do you have — or even know — any teenagers?

“For example, those Italian teens will be spending the money on Italian culture (well, to the extent that movies are dubbed or books translated, at least). ”

Cough *playstation* cough

27 ChrisA August 26, 2016 at 1:48 am

I guess I would prefer vouchers to direct subsidies of the arts, at least this way popular choice determines who get’s the money rather than some elitist bureaucrat.

I always felt that in recessions, rather than public works, a good stimulus would be to send out restaurant vouchers to everyone. The restaurant business employs lots of low skill people and restaurants are somewhat a public good in that clusters of restaurants greatly improve an area via Jane Jacobs type effects, so maintaining them during recessions would be important. (Of course better would be to eliminate recessions through NGDP targeting….).

28 Luis Pedro Coelho August 26, 2016 at 8:55 am

The big advantage is not in who chooses what works to subsidize but that the money does not get spent on bureaucrats themselves or in administration. If the project works, then you will have *more* works seen by more people (e.g., less scheduling events when its convenient for the staff even if there is little audience attendance).

29 kevin August 26, 2016 at 10:16 am

Perhaps you are right from a strictly stimulus perspective, but public works have the added benefit of increased productivity in the future. Ignoring a 100 years of benefits from the interstate system and only focusing on the slightly more stimulus heavy restaurant vouchers seems like a poor idea.

30 Troll me August 26, 2016 at 9:48 pm

I’m not so sure about that. If the objective is to stimulate the production of arts, I wonder if this approach might not do very well because it will mostly lead to the consumption of more mass-produced media and pad their profits, which would contribute to the production of more of the same. Which isn’t bad per se. But without having to be elitest in any sort of sense, I wouldn’t consider mass media as the sort of arts that such a policy ideally wants to target.

31 a fred August 26, 2016 at 3:35 am

This might not be all that special. I’m in Paris, looking at directions etc for various museums. Many (most?) major attractions are free for under 18s and for under 25s if from the EU.

32 kevin August 26, 2016 at 10:05 am

“lots of pure profit for suppliers of reproducible popular culture” and “vouchers do not offer well-defined benefits to specific suppliers” seems at odds.

33 GoneWithTheWind August 26, 2016 at 10:09 am

If the money to fund this came from some billionaire or feel from heaven ‘maybe’ this would be a good idea. But this is money from taxes taken at the threat of violence and jail time if you refuse to give it to the government. In theory the government ‘needs’ money to do the people’s business. The necessary things like defend the borders, support a legal and court system, build bridges, etc. But taking that money from productive people and then giving it away to unproductive people is terrible/criminal.

34 college laptops deals August 27, 2016 at 7:09 pm

While Levenger concentrates on “Tools for Serious Readers”
the Levenger Lapreader can serve either as being a
stand to get a hardback book or like a pillow top laptop desk.
The battle between tablet vs laptop depends about the needs of the user.
Best suits under 1000 There are numerous dealers with Used HP laptops
in Hyderabad where you’ll be able to find the ideal laptop.

Therefore, Hp Laptops are the very best brands for laptop series for their salient features and affordability and latest versions of Intel
processors that deliver good quality products.
Hooking up an external battery for a laptop or your laptop’s battery to increase life really does sound like a great
idea.

35 cctv ghost footage August 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm

Article Source: Smith can be an IT analyst at Real Time
Cloud Services that is a leading Cloud Computing and
Application Hosting company. CCTV cameras are advantageous for public safety, while they keep an end eye on large crowded areas, such because
airport, subway, section, etc. Cctv tools It definitely guards the premise better compared to the earlier security methods nonetheless it also has possesses some limitations.

Tight security and modern protection also comes in cost-effective packages.

There undoubtedly are a few apps which accomplish this but need to be viewed for the same Wi-Fi network, which sort of defeats the idea,
but IP Camera readily available for $1.

36 100% proven weight loss pils right August 28, 2016 at 5:55 pm

Eat cereals in in conjunction with Phentermine weight loss supplements, Whole grains generally, contains two kinds of fiber, namely insoluble
and soluble. Many slimming pill companies offer effective
products for discounts, but make sure the product
you might be going to acquire is inside the right form plus the right
quantity. Maximum strength lipozene A getting defined with the scientific communities
on weight-loss and a serving that a local restaurant provides is frequently very
different.

In yesteryear, the only weight loss supplements on the market
experienced a chemical foundation that created unwanted
health issues (that has been until hoodia arrived).
Low carb diets work whenever you knock the breads, sugars, and
other stuff that cause your insulin comes from rise.

37 does vodca go bad page August 28, 2016 at 8:22 pm

We just cherish helping you find the assistance you have to handle the debt
issues. So you’ve got HSV 2 inside the sore, but you don’t own any HSV
2 antibodies within your blood. Does beer spoil This leaves a wall and not using
a door- so no one can possibly come in and become
disappointed.

Here’s the rundown which conventionally grown fruits you’ll
be able to choose with confidence. Studies show chronic disease like
diabetes, high blood pressure levels, coronary disease, are
preventable by decreasing the volume of packaged and processed foods
from the diet.

38 Hmu Meanin We August 28, 2016 at 9:00 pm

” The dialogue box provides an option to view the certificate of the secured domain or webpage. Of course nobody wants and is capable to look behind, this is just natural and part of human nature, that rules behavior and attitude. What does tbh mean on twitter

Saying, “don’t get me anything,” is a woman’s way of saying something like the following: I know your budget is tight. A Note From This Contributor My interest in understanding bladder urges came from a personal journey with Urethral Diverticulum.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: