Compare subsidized French culture and relatively unsubsidized Anglo-American culture over the past four or five decades. The subsidized artists are those who can’t persuade the public to voluntary buy their works; the more subsidies available, the more of these “artists” you get. In his 1991 book L’État culturel (“The Cultural State”), French historian Marc Fumaroli notes that the tenants of the Bateau Lavoir, including Braque and Picasso, were not subsidized. Nor were, up to the 1950s and 1960s, playwrights who, like Beckett and Ionesco, had their work played in non-subsidized Paris theatres.
Cultural subsidies are not much different than if each subsidized artist was given a revolver and told to collect the money himself.