At this time, I will attempt to channel Nick Carr:
- the "big switch" to universal electricity brought about new business models that weren't possible previously
- a similar phenomenon would accompany a shift to ubiquitous, "always-on" broadband that penetrated every sector of the country.
- the original "big switch" required a metric crap load of government investment and resources
- so would the 21st century equivalent
- lots of companies would form around these new initiatives and grow, generating wealth for a new middle class
As a footnote, I'll point out that Sarah Lacy was most disappointing when interviewed on Forum. She apparently reduced these initiatives down to working in coffee shops and giving poor kids access to broadband. Not that I mind either of these, of course, but she misses the larger point - this sort of large-scale investment by the federal government would inject a great deal of energy into our present and future economic growth. Our economy right now absolutely relies on a strong IT component, and it only makes sense that future economic growth hinges on our IT investment.
Boo, Sarah - it's the economy, stupid.