The debate has gone a little bit over my head.
The problem with The Arts and Government support for same is a political
one, though not one that is particularly to do with party politcs.
Whether a public debate on the universal value of Classical Music (and
the other subjects Steve S. mentioned) will go the way most of us would
like it to depends on the economics of the moment. If there is lots of
money, chances are nobody will mind employing an extra music teacher or
two. When money is tight, music is the first to go. (Thousands have
made this point right here, on MCML.)
This dooms music funding to a very unsatisfactory intermittent status.
(Athletics support does not ever sink to this pathetic level, you will
notice.) The majority is willing to concede that classical music study
has utility value only in the good times. In bad times --and times are
bad right now in Pennsylvania-- music programs get cut. And music
education does not tolerate periodic injury too well.
The same could be true of Public Radio. There is nothing to offset
political use of radio, and political control of radio dollars. Of
course one can invoke sophisticated principles that say that government
support of NPR and music on NPR is ultimately a "good thing" for everyone;
but when money is tight, those in charge can claim to not understand
these sophisticated principles.
But given the level of IQ on this list, maybe you folks can come up
with a truly convincing reason why NPR should play more classical music.
But it's more likely that all we can do is deplore it with ever greater
eloquence. Dust to dust, I say. Remember: it isn't government funding
of music that makes you happy, it's the music itself!