examples from the past
Ernst Abbe (1840-1905)--a product of German government schools and Universities.
He created the modern theory of optics and developed Zeiss Werke into the premier supplier of microscopes, spectrometers, lens, and other optical equipment. The scientific approach to optics, possible because of the German government's investment in education, opened up the fields of medicine, biology, chemistry, and the materials sciences. The advances, and instruments that made them possible, increased life expectancy by about 50% and were the foundation for many key industries. Could such a figure have prospered 1850s-1860s America, in a culture of limited government and primitive educational opportunities? It is highly unlikely, unless one happens to be born rich, which is not statistically likely, such outcomes will not occur. The more likely result is he would have ended up a clerk in some entrepreneurs store, or a carnival barker, or in some other menial task achievable without the aid of government.
Nikola Tesla--a product of Austrian big government education - Gymnasium and Graz University of Technology.
He was key to the entire modern AC power system. He was able to defeat Edison, even with Edison's alliance with JP Morgan, because of the theoretical, scientific power of his approach, pure power realized thanks to government education. Edison, a product of America's limited government, had to self-educate himself using books, many of which were the product of European higher education. That is, at best, a crude and amateurish way of accumulating knowledge. Very few people can do what he did.
There are thousands of other examples too. To the extent the United States was able to contribute and advance it did so by rejecting the theories of limited government and copying Europe - copying things like the Gymnasium - "High School" and the Graz University of Technology ~ MIT and hundreds of clones across America. It also benefited from importing human capital from abroad, that is people like Nikola Tesla, or just importing instruments made by Abbe's Zeiss Werke.
I would love to trade 500 worthless, greedy and self-serving politicians in Washington today......for a few of yesterday's great inventors. With out modern transportation, communication, electricity, machinery and medicine, we all would still be using out-houses and tending chicken coops and filling the graveyards at 45.