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November 1st, 2012 1:37 pm
In Nashville, Insanity
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Normally I’m proud to reference Nashville — my second home of sorts — as an instructive contrast to the political and social pathologies of my native Southern California. Normally.

From my old colleagues at the Beacon Center of Tennessee (which was the Tennessee Center for Policy Research when I was there):

Nashville officials worry that the city, which people worldwide refer to as “The Music Capital of the World,” has a sudden shortage of creative talent, whether in music, art or literature — so government must intervene.

In other words, even though it is Nashville, too few of the city’s residents are members of the performing arts.

Members of one taxpayer-financed agency are taking action and offering affordable housing to people who fall below a certain income — provided that (1) they are artists and (2) their art meets a certain progressive standard.

Not every artist, however, will qualify.

Only seven members of a specially selected Artist Committee, in addition to the building’s property manager, can decide who may live there and who may not. Potential tenants who wish to live at the Ryman Lofts must satisfy Committee members’ standards on whether their art is “unique” and “progressive.”

I’m not sure that I can pinpoint the exact line beyond which government has become too large. I am confident, however, that taxing hard-working citizens to subsidize housing for people who spend their days rendering acrylic representations of Gaia is well beyond that line.

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