The Brazilian government gives it workers $25 a month to use on culture.
Would this ever happen in America?: This week, Brazil's government announced that they were allocating $25 (50-real) a month to each worker in the country to spend on cultural activities. That means some cash to see movies, go to museums, or buy books, music, or DVDs. "In all developed countries, culture plays a key role in the economy," Culture Minister Marta Suplicy explained in an interview on national television.
The stipend will be given out to workers by their employers in the form of an electronic card, for those making minimum wage to use as they want. The employer will cover 90 percent of the allotment, with the rest paid by the employee, who can opt out of the program if they want. It's at an employer's discretion if they want to also hand out cards to people earning five times the minimum wage, which is approximately $1,700.
This is great news for those without the means to enjoy the rich cultural output the country has to offer. It also means more capital going towards culture, which will help artists, musicians, and other creatives. Here's hoping the U.S. policy makers are listening, even if $25 doesn't go very far these days. It will at least buy the curious minds who can't afford it, a ticket to the movies with some pocket change for popcorn; or even a ticket to the MoMA, which at $20 a pop, would have to be your art fix for the month.
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