Another Jonathan Jones post that I found interesting.
I’ll provide the obvious answer to the question posed at the end of his blog, :
J.J.: So–wealth sails on, and so do the art fairs and dealers who cater to it with art, the ultimate luxury. Good thing or bad thing?
T.O.: Bad thing. You can read here for some of the reasons why:
The quote below is from David Harvey’s The Enigma of Capital and the Crisis of Capitalism. It reinforces the point I was making about Richard Fuld and Lehmann in my post.
The successful politics of wage repression after 1980 allowed the rich to get much richer. we are told that this is good because the rich will invest in new activity (after first satisfying their competitive urge to indulge in conspicuous consumption, of course.) Well, yes, they do invest, but not necessarily directly in production. Most of them prefer to invest in asset values. For example, they put money in the stock market and tock values go up, so they put even more money in the stock market, irrespective of how well the companies they invest in are actually doing. (Remember those predictions in the late 1990s of the Dow at 35,000?) The stock market has a Ponzi-like character even without the Bernie Madoffs of this world explicitly organizing it so. The rich bid up all manner of asset values, including stocks, property, resources, oil, and other commodity futures, as well as the art market. They also invest in cultural capital through sponsorship of museums and all manner of cultural activities (thus making the so-called ‘cultural industries’ a favored strategy for urban economic development). When Lehman Brothers tanked, the Museum of Modern Art in New York lost a third of its sponsorship income.