Thursday, January 17, 2019

Welfare Cowboys Should Be Ashamed of Themselves

Chris Edwards writes:

A reporter called the other day to ask what I thought about the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) giving subsidies to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. The government appears to have given the cowboy poets hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars over the years.
As the symbol of rugged individualism in the American West, I’m surprised cowboys aren’t embarrassed to take government hand-outs. The amount of money is not large, but when private groups get hooked on subsidies they become tools of the state. They lose their independence and may self-censor.
From the government’s perspective, subsidies placate dissent and encourage subservience. I’m not just talking about cowboys, but recipients of all the federal government’s more than 2,000 subsidy programs.
The NEA launched the poetry subsidies in 1985 to fix the negative image of cowboys as “strong, silent types.” Bikers and gun owners also have image problems, so we might expect the NEA to next sponsor poetry at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the Crossroads of the West Gun Show.


  1. Well, it does seem a bit goofy but it's nice to see government handouts going to a actual taxpayers for a change.

  2. Eh I am with block on this one. Poet cowboys don’t blow up innocent people and don’t lock up people for victimless crimes. Take all the money cowboy poets.