The following is an excerpt from the first chapter of a manuscript Tyler Cowen wrote on government funding of the arts. The entire first chapter can be downloaded here.
No matter how strong markets and the profit motive may be, government influences the terms of artistic production and thus the content of art. The United States, the focus of this book, is no exception to this claim. To extend the”night watchman state”metaphor of classical liberalism, modern governments take an active role in supporting, choosing, and displaying art, not just in guarding it from theft.