Thursday, April 05, 2007
Cost of classical music rising - always
The cost of producing classical music - live or recorded is rising and always will. It's basic economics called "Baumol's cost disease." In most areas of the economy productivity is rising due to better management methods and improved technology. This lowers costs. Improved productivity also raises pay. (Don't oppose increased productivity, because you will be opposing the pay raise you expect.) And increased pay puts us ahead. Our pay increases faster than the cost of living, so we can and do live better than we did 20 years ago. But this is bad news for areas that can't use technology to increase productivity. The typical pay goes up throughout the economy. But the classical music "industry" has to pay people also and they have to compete for them it requires paying more each year as the typical pay goes up. This is called the Baumol cost disease because it is unavoidable. Costs are going up and will continue to. It's like gravity: you can't outlaw it. Another way to look at it: Increased technology and productivity in manufacturing cause the amount of labor to reduce, which reduces costs. But the amount of labor to produce Carl Orff's Carmina Burana can't be reduced. Read more on this at Musicbox.com. Via James Glassman's excellent new magazine The American.com.