Michael Noyes Posted 11 months ago Is America past its prime? DISCUSS WITH Robert Gordon and Erik Brynjolfsson in a LIVE DEBATE, Thursday at 4pm Eastern. Government programs have funded innovation in fields and technologies that the private sector has not been able or willing to pursue on their own: the interstate highway system, the space program, the transistor, the internet are examples that come to mind … as well, of course, public education for those who can't afford private schools. Cheep fossil fuels will run out and will no longer be so cheap. The private sector has not invested in alternative energies sufficient to replace fossil fuels. This is an area where the government can effectively subsidize a critical industry.