George W. Bush has apparently signed the bill that will send tax rebate checks out to most Americans in the coming months, with the intent of stimulating the economy. The checks will vary in amount, from $300 to well over $1000. Since this idea came up, there has been much discussion in the media about how people will spend this money, and whether or not it will benefit the economy. There has been people concerned that it will go to purchasing electronic equipment that is made overseas, and the money will quickly leave our economy.
I have a suggestion. Take a pledge. A pledge to buy American Craft.
With at least some portion of your rebate, buy something made by hand, by an American artist. I am not normally one for jingoism. But, I can't imagine anything that could do more to get the money into the economy that will have so many benefits. Small business, the artist who works alone, or with a small number of employees, will be a direct beneficiary. That money will go right back into circulation, in our economy, probably to purchase more supplies, or services to support their business. You will bring a bit of beauty into your life, and you will be a patron of the arts! You don't have to make donations of millions of dollars so that a wing can be added to a museum to be a patron of the arts. All it really takes is buying the work of artists. Large or small, it all adds up, and begins to make for viable careers.
Do I have a personal interest in seeing this happen? Maybe. But I feel like I am part of a community of talented people who make the world a little more beautiful with the work they do. But, they face an uphill battle to stay in business. I want to see them succeed. If I didn't, I wouldn't write this blog. My motivation is to see the world be a bit more beautiful. To be surrounded by more art, wherever I go. And if it means asking people to make a pledge to buy some art with their rebate, I am willing to do that!
Take the pledge.
Copy one or more of these images, and add it to your blog, or your website. Print it out as labels, and put it on postcards, or envelopes, or wherever you can use it to remind someone that they have the power to take an act in favor of beauty. Let's make this a contagion on the internet., and beyond. Around the holidays, there was the Pledge to Buy Handmade. Let's build on that idea. We can make a difference in the world. And it starts with our actions. Act on behalf of beauty. Put aside the whole check if you can, or a portion of it you can manage, and buy American Craft. And if you have enough "stuff" in your life, perhaps someone you know would be cheered by a handcrafted gift.
Does the world need more plasma TV's, or more art? You have a choice. You can make a difference.