Argument: Arts subsidies benefit mostly the wealthy and elite
Brian Micklethwaits. "Against arts subsidies". Libertarian Alliance. - "It is indeed an outrage for people — especially rich people — to have their hobbies paid for by others. Yachtsmen get no government grants. Why should opera lovers?
Champions of The Arts reply that arts subsidies enable non-rich people also to attend grand operas.
True, but the non-rich mostly fail to turn up. Thus more money must be spent badgering them to turn up, for example by getting at their children via “arts education”. Once again it is the richer-than-most Champions of The Arts whose satisfaction (in this case in the form of biddable crowds of non-rich opera attenders) is being paid for. Similar criticisms apply to schemes for persuading the non-rich to paint pictures, do pottery etc., which they can well afford to do anyway. If the happiness of the non-rich was the real aim, the non-rich would be allowed to keep their money and spend it as they pleased. (See the Libertarian Alliance pamphlet Taxation Is Theft by Chris R. Tame.)"