According to Gordon Graham "The work of Isaac NewtonI contributes nothing to economic prosperity". As the whole of mechanics (engines and machinery of all types) follows from Newton's laws of motion, and much of kinetics from the differential calculus, it would be more accurate to say that without Newton and his ilk there would be no economic prosperity.
Even "pure" maths underpins most of computing, telecommunications, economics and trading. Governments that fund universities, in part for the economic returns, as well as moral philosophers will do well to remember it.
Department of chemistry
University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology