And the power of government to promote it, and use it to make life better. Ezra Klein in the NY Times:
Let’s start with Biden’s ambition. Four major bills have passed during his presidency: The American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Every one of them, at a core level, is about creating or deploying new technologies to solve ongoing problems.
The American Rescue Plan deployed vaccines and widespread testing and genomic surveillance to stifle the pandemic; the infrastructure bill is thick with ideas to make broadband access universal and develop next-generation energy and transportation technologies; CHIPS is an effort to break our reliance on Taiwanese and South Korean semiconductor manufacturing and keep ahead of China in fields of the future like artificial intelligence and quantum computing; and the Inflation Reduction Act uses tax breaks and loan guarantees to supercharge the wind and solar industries, build up advanced battery manufacturing, develop cost-effective carbon capture systems, and give the auto and home-heating industries reasons to go entirely electric.
Much attention, in recent years, has revolved around how technology can coarsen politics and denude communities. Look no further than the disinformation enabled by social media or the factories closed and towns wrecked by the communication and shipping advances that supercharged globalization. But new technologies can also create new possibilities. The politics of climate change would be impossible if solar panel costs hadn’t fallen by 89 percent and onshore wind costs by 70 percent in 10 years. California’s decision to ban the sale of cars running on internal combustion engines after 2035 would be unthinkable without the rapid advances in battery technology. Vaccination can curb the threat of disease in ways that social distancing can’t, as vaccinations can be sustained, but lockdowns become economically, politically and educationally ruinous.
You can add in the administration's push for more lithium mining, better public transit, and the new ARPA-H, which is supposed to make big, risky bets in medical technology, as DARPA does for military technology.