This passage from Matthew Rees’s Wall Street Journal review of Move Fast and Break Things by Jonathan Taplin is worth highlighting:
It may be hard to get stirred up about the interests of celebrity millionaires like Ms. Swift and Sir Paul, but the broader concern is legitimate: how to reward those who create content—music, film, even mere words—in an era when technology can distribute it at virtually no cost. In “Move Fast and Break Things,” Jonathan Taplin argues that today’s technology behemoths are decimating content industries and eroding the broader culture. …
[Taplin] devotes more space to a more mundane concern: money. Consider music revenues. Last year, in the U.S., they were $7.7 billion, down from $19.8 billion in 2000. In 2015, music creators earned more from the sale of vinyl records than they did from music streams on YouTube and other platforms. “How can it be,” Mr. Taplin asks, “that the arrival of digital networks composed of billions of music fans has not been a boon to musicians?”
In essence, this is the complaint of gatekeepers. Note the assumptions embedded in the phrasing of the question: “how to reward those who create content?” Are they rewarded, or do they earn their money? And either way, who gets to decide what is worth rewarding? Taplin complains that “the economics of ‘more’ [may be] drowning us in a sea of mediocrity.” Well, it’s up to the non-mediocre to prove it, and it’s also up to those who want to support their preferred content to find ways to do so.
This is all on the content creators and those who make a career of helping them to find an angle, as well as their fans. They have to prove that they’re worth the consolidation of society’s entertainment resources.
One can see in Taplin’s perspective the same mentality that leads to high taxes and big government: this insinuation that particular interests should find ways to use government to spread the costs of doing things they want done, but for which they don’t want the responsibility of paying.