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Posted by Jon on April 23, 2000 at 23:57:57:

In Reply to: Re: Increasing Work for animators etc. posted by Dave Brewster on April 22, 2000 at 10:52:11:

You know, much as I generally oppose "Big Government," I am convinced that the only thing that will save this industry - in this country - is government intervention.

Spent Easter with a friend of mine who is a writer/director here in town ... and of course he does most of his shoots up in Vancouver. Why? Because it's cheaper than Toronto (snicker).

But he pointed out a couple of things.

First of all, the United States is the Great Consumer of the world. It's the greatest collection of opulent people on earth - people who can't LIVE without three phone lines, a second car, a second TV, and (now)internet access. It imports EVERYTHING to satisfy the insatiable masses. The balance of trade is staggering. But there is probably ONE product/service - besides food, when we're not paying farmers to leave their fields empty - that the U.S. has traditionally exported. That's entertainment. THE Great American Export.

Secondly, in the past the U.S. government has taken steps to protect an industry, as does any nation. So for Congress to come in and start either 1) levying penalty tariffs against firms that send work overseas, or 2) giving significant tax breaks to firms that keep jobs (and money) on shore, would not be unusual.

So why isn't this happening?

The suggestion was made that there is a historical friction between the Hollywood and the current Congress. Although there are apparently a few politicians trying to do something, in general the feeling in the halls of Washington is, "Why should we help them when they are continually antagonizing us?"

Regardless ... if it should ever happen that Washington decides to stand behind the heritage of American entertainment, would we be ready to try and propose a workable new industry?

I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this. After all, I'm just a goofy cartoonist.

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