Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh those fat-cat artists

I'm guessing that Stephen Harper is either lying again, or has never met a real live artist. "Stephen Harper ... draped himself in populism and said he sided with regular folks who aren't troubled that his policies rile fat-cat artists or people 'in ivory towers.'"

Fat-cat artists? Really? Really?! I mean, I know a few artists myself. They're slim and largely non-feline. And they're also just getting by - working class, at best. The Green Party offers some numbers on this:
In 2000 the average employment income in Canada was $31,757. Actors that year earned an average of $21,597, painters and sculptors $18,666 and musicians and singers $16,090. By comparison, a senior government manager averaged $65,020 in 2000.
The poverty line is currently set at $20,778. So... maybe actors are the fat-cats, rolling around in a bed made of the $800 that they're raking in beyond the poverty line? The Prime Minister of Canada, on the other hand, is making only $280,000 or so. Poor guy.

UPDATE: I think this is the original quote from Harper that the Globe & Mail refers to:
I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people, you know, at a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough when they know those subsidies have actually gone up - I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people.
So he didn't actually use the term "fat-cat", just implied it. I'm not sure what gala he's talking about, but I assume that he's referring to film industry ones. In which case he's being extremely disingenuous in implying that the actors/directors/etc. you might see at such galas are in any way representative of average artists in Canada.

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