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GRE ISSUE TOPIC 7

Some people believe that government funding of the arts is necessary to


ensure that the arts can flourish and be available to all people. Others
believe that government funding of the arts threatens the integrity of the
arts.
Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with
your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In
developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the
views presented.

Artists have always survived on the patronage of the wealthy, in ancient


times kings and queens supported artists of the beauty they created. In the
modern consumer based society we live in, people expect to be able to buy
amazing art for cheap and thus have reduced the value that artiscts place on
their work. To be able to survive financially in such an environment artists
compromise their creativity for the sake of productivity. For example in Bali,
and many popular tourist destinations around the world, artist have started
mass producing their art. One sees rows of identical stone statues and stacks
of identical paintings. Many traditional forms of music, dance and other
performance based arts are struggeling and even going extinct because of
lack of financial support. Historically they have depended on donations by
their audiences to support themselves and now days this is no longer
sufficient.
Government funding of arts may be able to make it flourish and may even be
able to bring back the creative integrity of struggeling artists. Governments
must realize that artists cannot be forced to produce on a schedule and can
not always show evidence of their efforts. If funding of artists is dependant
on their ability to produce, such funding would only exacerbate the existing
problem and hasten the deterioration of artistic integrity. Thus if
governments are sincerely interested in supporting artists they will find
methods to do so that do not hamper the freedom necessary for artistic
creativity. This can be achieved by subsidising art supplies or creating
centers where artist can create and display their arts.

For the performance arts it is even more vital that governments step in and
support these floundering artists because many such traditional art forms are
on the verge of dissappearance. By building schools where such arts can be
taught and performed governments can easily support these art. By
encouraging and promoting events by such artists thay can art back to their
nations and make their culture flourish again.
Government funding is necessary to create an environment in which artistic
creativity can flourish without artists focussing solely on producing and
selling as much art as they can to just survive. It is essential that
governments realize that funding of the arts is to make them flourish and
while retaining their artistic integritiy. If government funding is bases solely
on increasing productivity of artists such funding will surely lead to the
deterioration of the artistic diversity of any nation.

GRE ARGUMENT TOPIC 7


The following is a recommendation from the Board of Directors of Monarch
Books.
"We recommend that Monarch Books open a caf in its store. Monarch,
having been in business at the same location for more than twenty years,
has a large customer base because it is known for its wide selection of books
on all subjects. Clearly, opening the caf would attract more customers.
Space could be made for the caf by discontinuing the children's book
section, which will probably become less popular given that the most recent
national census indicated a significant decline in the percentage of the
population under age ten. Opening a caf will allow Monarch to attract more
customers and better compete with Regal Books, which recently opened its
own caf."
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be
answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have
the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions
would help to evaluate the recommendation.

Monarch Books has had a large customer base for 20 years because of its
wide selection of books. Opening a caf inside the book shop may decrease
this faithful customer base, as it has the potential to drastically alter the
ambience that it has been known for. Opening a caf inside the book shop
will draw customers who come to socialize instead of enjoy a peacful
atmosphere in which to browse through books. These new customers are less
likely to buy books and thus will effectively decrease the sales in the book
shop. The Board of Directors of Monarch Books must consider the impact of
opening a caf on their old faithful client base and weigh it against the
increase in customers from the caf. A survey of their long standing clients
may give the Board an idea as to whether a caf will detract from the appeal
of Monarch books or whether it will improve it.

The Board also need to consider the ramifications of discontinuing the


childrens section. By removing the children's book section the board is likely
to reduce their client base beyond just children, because many families may
come to the bookshop together and without a childrens section, Monarch
Books will no longer be able to cater to the needs of families.
The Board needs to quantify the extent to which the population of children
under 10 is expected to decrease by. An overly optimistic value would be
around 10% and the Board need to consider whether removing the childrens
section will lead to a 10% decrease in sales of childrens books or whether it
willl lead to a larger decreses in sales of all types of books. A survey of their
customers will give the Board an idea of what percentage of their customers
come as families and thus an understanding of the decrese in sales they
should expect. The Board must take this into consideration if they decide to
build a caf inside the book shop.
The Board has compared Monarch Books to Regal Books and has assumed
that since opening a caf was successful for Regal Books it will also be
successful for them. This is a baseless assumption as many factors need to
be considered before such a statement can be made. What type of
customers did Regal Books have and were they effected by the caf? Did
regal books have to discontinuing the children's book section and what affect
did this have on their customer base?

The Board of directors have not considered the issue in sufficient depth for
them to state with any certainty whether opening a caf inside their book
shop will attract more customers.