Well, anyone who wants the evidence might like to read the following, some of which you can get on the Web, and some of which you might have to visit a library for. By the way, some of these argue that Arts and Humanities in Higher Education may have a multiplier effect on government spending (magnifying its impact on the wider economy) of up to eight times. And that teaching and research together might be Britain's fourth biggest cash export industry.
You be the judge:
Arts and Humanities Research Council, Leading the World: The Economic Impact of
Arts and Humanities Research (2009). UK
Richard Layard, Happiness: Lessons from a New Science (2005).
Rand Corporation, Reframing the Debate About the Value of the Arts (
Quite a weighty list, really.