Take one concrete example: people who go into basic sciences often make discoveries that not only help enormous numbers of people but that also lead to the creation of great wealth. In other words, in ideal circumstances, scholars can help produce dollars.
Can you tell us more about the context of this debate? For example, who is "we?" I wonder if you are talking about the needs of a developing country. If so, the best argument is that money can only help in the short term. For long term development, you need educated people who can make the country more productive and modernize its economy.
Please tell us more about what you need.