Re: He does have a point
Whoo, that's some expansion. Fair play to Btrower for expanding on his views, we seem to have moved from the Ancient Greeks (who first raised taxes to pay for courts, so that trading disputes didn't result in knife fights) through Bertrand Russell's 'Case for a Leisure Society', and made a detour around Thalidomide.
So, possible alternative means of funding artists and inventors include, but are not limited to:
-Private patronage by a powerful individual, eg Leonardo da Vinci by the Medici family, JS Bach by a bishop.
-Leisure Society - i.e with a 20 hour working week, people have enough leisure time to write, play musical instruments, write the software that they want to use, and potter in the shed.
-Bounty - e.g John Harrison's invention of the bimetallic strip and thus accurate clocks, to claim an award being offered by the British Admiralty
-Employment by an organisation that can bring the individuals work to market quickly enough for it to be a competitive advantage.
- Academic research, grant, i.e society as a whole funds research / artistic endeavour.
None of the above seem perfect systems either, though the Leisure Society should be discussed more... which is tricky when Gross National Product and Economic Growth are all politicians brag about.