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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Horrors of Private Sponsorship?

NBC Philadelphia reported that due to proposed budget cuts, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission may be forced to turn to private sponsorship in order to maintain such historic landmarks as Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site.

For most people, this wouldn’t cause a panic. So why was the article titled “Budget Deficit Could Kill History”? (emphasis added). The author satirically wrote of this private sponsorship future:

Fifteen thousand British troops fought George Washington’s Continental Army in 1777 during the Revolutionary War at Comcast Battlefield Park.
Hyperbole aside, when I was studying in Xiamen, China, I traveled to a nearby mangrove forest, one of the largest in the country. Traveling with members of the Mangrove Protection Project, we arrived at the beautifully maintained forest to see tastefully engraved on a rock by the entrance that the site’s preservation is funded by Wal-Mart.

Somehow, a country that maintained one of the most socialist economies in the world as recently as twenty years ago has surpassed Pennsylvania in willingness to allow private companies to fund previously government-funded operations. Do we really believe that responsible spending and private sponsorship will kill history?

Click here for a related post on privatizing state parks.

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