As a european musician I agree with you that music, classical especially
but also jazz and folk and many other types of music and art (dance,
stage, etc) are subsidised but there is a reason. We have a different
view, governmentally, on culture. I don't think - but I'm ignorant in
this aspect - that the US government ( or state government) give money
for cultural aspects. Here ( in the Netherlands) we have a Ministry of
Culture so politicians determine what is culture (music, art, dance,
etc.) (even worse civil servants are responsible for the implementation)
and squander money as they deem fit and in our country everything is
done by "committees" who get subsidised and who not. So if you are not a
favourite of (someone in) the committee than you're out of luck. In
short, it is an in crowd method of dispersing favours (like the former
kings did) only loosely related to quality.
(but I an a cynic).