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Reply to "Is the bold grammatical?"

I think that the bolded contrast is supposed to make the point that the US taxpayer pays for people to be educated in order to do nothing of social value:

The financial sector’s “salaries and bonuses” attract “many of our country’s best young mathematicians and physicists”—these talented graduates’ education “has been paid for mostly by either government funds or university endowments”, but activity related to what securities prices are doing “within a nanosecond time frame” adds “little to the financial system’s ability to perform any of its economic functions”.

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