Business Insider has an arresting chart showing which of the major technologies that make cell phones possible are directly attributable to the United States military.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a big believer that government is an evil that is necessary. But there are a few things that it does well. The canonical examples are national defense and civil/criminal justice. I’m starting to think that research might be another exception to the rule, however. I’d love to see even more investment in R&D. Want to see more STEM graduates? Well, start up a few more government labs and there you go. While you’re at it, consider giving preferential access to resulting tech to companies that locate their workforces in the United States. Seems like a great way for an advanced nation to compete for private investment dollars.