An ongoing reality is that government monies are key catalysts for science and new products, which in turn lead to more jobs. For example, money from the Department of Defense DARPA group was key to the creation of the internet. This page from DARPA’s web site touts its leading role in the Internet and many other projects that generated products we use today.
Similar returns arise from investing in basic molecular biology. Today we are seeing staggeringly great human and financial returns from the government investing $ 4 billion in a project modestly known referred to as the Human Genome Project. And, this past fall, scientists started publishing massive numbers of papers and data from the ENCODE project that created vast pools of new knowledge from portions of the genome we used to call "junk DNA" (because we did not yet "get" how it worked). Humanity inevitably will reap enormous human and financial returns from these investments in basic knowledge.
A new article makes it plain that we need to add another government investment to the list of great investments in fundamental knowledge. The example involves artificial intelligence as exemplifed by SIRI of Iphone fame. Bianca Bosker tells the story well in this Huffington Post article.