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[snip] Fine art goes the way of politics. "The arts market has become increasingly like other asset markets," according to a recent RAND Corporation news release summarizing its report "A Portrait of the Visual Arts: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era." "The value of an artist's work is determined not, as was traditionally the case, by the consensus of experts, but increasingly by a small number of affluent buyers who are drawn to purchase works for their potential investment value."

[snip] From the New Deal to the Screw You Deal. Edward Alden, Washington bureau chief of London's Financial Times, offers a polite summary of recent history: "With the New Deal in the 1930s, helping those who could not help themselves became a mission that spawned a vast expansion of government's role. After a generation of determined effort the conservative movement has succeeded in squelching that mission. In the aftermath of Katrina, its success appears to have come at high cost."

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