Know the master, know the servant.
When the conversation is framed by the privileged, everything is a discretionary purchase. “If people choose to remain ignorant; neglect education; seek and embrace delusion…Well, let them.”
Except that it’s not true. Critical medical care is not discretionary. Neither is basic literacy (and numeracy). Survival follows a different logic.
But there’s a political benefit to having a poor, ignorant, desperate population. You can bend them to your will like so many cattle. Machiavelli wrote a how-to book on this some time ago.
Public goods are not valuable to those who would rather devalue the public.