I don't really agree with your last point, and that's because I lived through that era. When I was a kid in the 60s and 70s, it seems every smart kid wanted to grow up to be a scientist-astronaut or design nuclear-powered starships. There was a huge push in the schools, from elementary on up, on physics and math, with a direct eye on the "Space Age" careers of tomorrow. Maybe you will have a job on Mars....better learn calculus and quantum mechanics! Nobody every said anything about learning PL/I or how to grow bacteria in a petri dish. Take a look at your iconic geek TV shows and movies from the period. What kind of job does the generic yellowshirt on Star Trek do? Something to do with physics, you can be sure. Did you ever see a programmer or biologist glamourized in 1960s or 1970s TV or movies?
These things matter. They influence the career choices young people make, and where capital flows, and we most definitely do have a finite supply of both brilliant young people and capital.