GRE Essay Topic 358 - Present your perspective on the issue below, "As long as people in a society are hungry or out of work or lack the basic skills needed to survive, the use of public resources to support the arts is inappropriate-and, perhaps, even cruel-when one considers all the potential uses of such money."
Every society and civilization in any period of time has been comprised of different social classes. There are people at the top of society, the elite and wealthy, and there are those at the bottom who struggle to make it day to day. From the Roman empire to today, this disparity has existed and almost has become part of the definition of a society. While it is unfair and unjust, it appears to be the way societies work, and unfortunately not every individual struggling or food and basic necessities can be helped. Not only is it impossible to give this type of support, but even if it were possible, it is unrealistic and could cause catastrophic effects on the makeup of a society.
There will always be poverty. There will always be people who are hungry and unemployed and who lack the basic skills and necessities to survive. There are ways to decrease the incidence of this, but there is no way to completely irradicate the issue altogether. The lowest class in society does contribute a role in the grand scheme of things and is an unfortunate necessity in keeping some”order” in the way things run. While funds can be allocated, and should be, to improve the situation of these individuals, this lower class will always exist. Completely changing the distribution of funds and grants in a society to alleviate this issue, would be nonsensical because eventually the classes would redistribute themselves, recreating this impoverish class of individuals. Taking away public resources completely for this issue would only help in the short term and end up taking away from the society as a whole, in the end, helping nobody.
The arts, while not a necessity for basic survival, is an integral part of a society. One of the defining criteria for a civilization is the establishment of the arts. Without it, there is no society, or it can be greatly hurt and hindered. Therefore, funds and public resources should constantly be fed to it, in order to keep it flourishing, which in turn will help the society as a whole flourish. With this in mind, putting forth resources to the arts is not inappropriate, but rather necessary for the livelihood of a society. While on the surface, it seems counterintuitive since these resources could be placed elsewhere, but by preserving the culture of a society and helping it grow will indirectly help the people in the society, both the upper classes and the impoverish. There is no cruelty involved with allocating resources to this sector of a society; it is a necessary allocation that in turn, will help many aspects and individuals.