As bad as it seems to some, there is a strong case to be made for government support of the arts. At lease something of value could be made available for young people. Censorship may be one of the costs. Political manuevering, another. What's the alternative when corporate money is spent on supporting the arts that are in harmony with corporate goals? Why is it that tobacco companies have to support jazz festivals? CocaCola money is spent on some of the arts while rotting the teeth out of children? Pop stars get more recognition by corportations than legitimate artists because they favorably affect the "bottom line"? Quality theater in this country is slowly becoming extinct because only big ticket companies can survive outside of New York. Name twenty successful (not in the red) regional theatrical companies in the U.S.
Now we can talk about folk music and what that means in an economic context. It means that the music that will survive is in the marketplace. The historical context of folk music is not considered important enough to teach in the public schools except for a few conscientious teachers who employ it as part of their curriculum.
If it weren't for the federal funding of the Library of Congress, what folk music would we have in the U.S.? Which corporation that anyone knows would sponsor folklorists, collectors or traditional folk singers?
What was the last corporation that sponsored Doc Watson, Jean Ritchie, Pete Seeger, Taj Mahal, Leadbelly or Woody Guthrie in a concert?
Even during the most repressive Stalin times in the USSR, there were spectacular folk music ensembles and dance companies sponsored by the state.