Banning ‘Super Art’: A step in the right direction

In response to a strongly worded letter that I was going to write the authorities have swung into action. Rather than simply warning people of the dubious nature of investments in art, as I argued should be done here, a recommendation has been made that the practice be banned in the instance of self-managed super funds (reported in the Australian here).

In a review of self managed super Jeremy Cooper has recommended that making art works part of an investment portfolio standing as a self managed superannuation fund should be outlawed. In this recommendation the hucksterism of the art world – the fundamentally fraudulent nature of any value being attributed to art works – has been recognised.

There are two ways at looking at the reasoning behind this recommendation.

On the one hand it could be seen as an attempt to prevent people having fun on the back of government largess. The fact that a person can gain personal enjoyment as a side benefit of state support always seems to be frowned upon. In this particular case the resentment would stem from people receiving enjoyment as well as retirement savings on the back of generous tax concessions and grants.

The other angle of consideration is that that public monies are being spent in these self-managed super funds. Restrictions are needed to make sure that individuals are not being ripped off by unscrupulous snake-oil traders, such as those found in the art world, as they manage that public money. The benefits accorded to superannuation are, after all, in lieu of government support for those that choose not to work in their old age.

Indeed it would seem highly unscrupulous of the government if it were not to rule out making investments in art works. Would it not be akin to encouraging people to invest in the dogs, the track or on the black of a roulette table? I don’t think we want any more support being given to organisations such as crown casino.

The art world has argued that people should be free to be stupid. “[I]t’s incredibly condescending for a person not to be able to make the choice themselves about what is or isn’t of value” was what ‘Pop artist’ David Bromley said as he launch the “Save Super Art” campaign. This is true and points to the corollary that points out the vindictiveness of the first way of considering the recommendation. But what is missed in the response is that the financial largess of the government extended to individuals by the superannuation system means that there is a public interest in those monies not being flushed down the toilet on objects that are always interchangeable with any other object in the world, including those which we traditionally flush down the toilet.

If an explanation for the value of art were to be sought from the art industry only two responses could be garnered. On the one hand value is attributed in the same way that value is accrued when one burns money in the hope of pleasing god. Either that, or that value is accrued through the spreading of lies.

Perhaps the best reason for supporting the adoption of this recommendation to ban self-managed superannuation funds from investing in art is that it is likely to undermine the art industry in Australia. This can only be good for Australian politics given the usurpation that the art industry makes against the democratic citizen as it dresses up certain people’s opinions as especially worthy of publicity via the fraudulent moniker of ‘artistic’.

There may be good grounds for the minister of arts, Peter Garret, to support this move. It may be a step that, alongside its democratic and fiscal benefits, moves towards creating a world in which the beautiful can more easily appear as a product of conscious effort.


About barkingcoins
This author is just another fucking dickhead.

2 Responses to Banning ‘Super Art’: A step in the right direction

  1. Pingback: The Chartist Weekly Roundup | The Chartist

  2. lumpnboy says:

    I’m impressed that you made it in the “The Chartist Weekly Roundup”, which is “For Traders, SMSF Investors and Chart Enthusiasts”, of interesting analysis in the “Self Managed Super” category. Even if they are not Chartists in the historical sense of the word.

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