It is not uncommon to hear the same people demanding government support for the arts.
Beginning in the 1960s there were many living visual artists who were earning substantial amounts of money: Warhol, Lichtenstein, Calder and Serra.
Today, there are visual artists who earn regularly in the millions of dollars even some worth a billion.
There is San Francisco woman sculptor, age 31, who has been getting commissions of over $70,000.
There are several reasons why living visual artists are able to earn so much money. First is the incredible expansion of the auction market to include living visual artists.
Second is the dearth of good investments with a reasonable return. Since nouveau riche are anxious to prove their high level of taste and display their extraordinary earnings, the art market has become a great place to put their money.
The Chinese are also entering the market under the same circumstances with abundant money, desperate need for return and recognition. Often they are buying living Chinese visual artists.
If you are an artist, be prepared to be rich. And stop complaining about the absence of government funding for the arts.