Thursday, December 4, 2008
Today, December 4th, 2008 I consider the plight of artists, writers, and artisans in economic distress. The American economy is not set up to facilitate the economic survival of writers and artists. I am unaware of unsecured bank loans available for artists. Instead the artist spend countless hours applying for long shot grants. Often the grants are for small sums of money, say $500. The artist not receiving grants or receiving too few grants is forced to use credit cards. As an example of this trap, one of my credit cards just upped my rate to 24%. A friend of mine relies on a credit card rate of 30%. His plan is to pay off the cards when he sells some paintings. My plan is to pay off my cards when I sell a book. I wrote and published a book of poetry, The Interview this year. The book, although enjoyed by readers, has not benefited from a nationwide poetry reading tour. Therefore the sales are only two or three copies a week. If I would have sales of 100 copies a month through some of the major sellers such as Amazon.com and barnes & Noble I would earn $300. a month for my book. Surely not enough money to live on. I have a proposal for the new Obama Administration. 1. Create micro loans for artists, artisans and writers of amounts ranging from $15,000 to $60,000. 2. Provide funding so as to pay off 50% of the outstanding credit card debt owed by Artists, artisans and writers. 3. Limit credit card companies to an upper interest rate of 16 %.