Thursday, September 08, 2005

Upper Class Cultural Welfare

The CBC (Canada's public broadcaster) is apparently on strike, and some MP's are questioning whether the corporation is worth the cost to taxpayers. I'm generally supportive of the CBC's programming (except for showing the British soap opera Coronation Street during prime time), but I definitely feel that forcing everyone to pay for a television station whether or not they watch it is rediculous. I can see the value of the Canadian content, but if Canadians really feel it's valuable then those people should pay for it just like any other broadcaster. And if you want to subsidize Canadian programming, I'm even (sort of) OK with that.

My main problem with the CBC's defenders is that they basically tend to be well-educated, upper-middle and upper class people. This is CBC's viewer demographic - and funding of the CBC therefore acts as a transfer from lower income people to higher income people. Upper class cultural welfare, if you will. I don't have data on this, but I'd be willing to bet that the average income of CBC viewers (or listeners, if you're talking radio) is higher than the national average. I think the average CBC viewer could "afford" to pay for it. Let's make them put their money where their mouths are, if they think the CBC is so valuable.


Post a Comment

<< Home