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Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Quest For Rocks Continues, Expands




And it's getting to be a more and more expensive quest.


That's the amount of money NASA estimates the bold new plan to put Americans back on the moon in 2018 will cost. That is a material amount of capital. Capital that is being stolen from the private sector and handed over to the bureaucrats to finance a boondoggle. Capital that will not be invested in a project that will generate profits. Capital that will not be put to its highest and best use. (Well, I suppose it will be put to a use bent on reaching an extremely high elevation. But of course that's not what I meant by "highest".) Capital that will be spent but not invested.

The government sure seems to like that hundred billion dollar number.
It's pocket change for those crooks.

P.S.
Don't miss Gary North's column on NASA.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The French Ministry of Defense plans to spend 3.6 billion euros for space programs for the period 2005-2010. 631 million euros will be awarded for 2005, with the biggest contribution going to the Syracuse 3 program (366 million euros). The French military space budget remains stable in comparison to the previous years. Furthermore, the French government announced that in every one of CNES’s priority areas – navigation, telecommunications, launch vehicle development, environmental monitoring and scientific research – “the Ministry of Defense will take part in the program planning… to develop the dual-use – civil and military- nature of the approved programs.

1:45 PM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous FD said...

get 'em spear! i've always thought that the space program was a waste of money!

1:45 PM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger garrett said...

With any luck, this blog will be the straw that broke that camel's back.

1:50 PM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am winking at you right now

2:17 PM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous The Them is Us said...

A wise man once pointed out to me that NASA never spent $1 in outer space--it's all spent here on Earth. Will the Market spend Research and Development Dollars on all aspects of science, or at least those aspects in which NASA currently invests? Europe remained ignorant of many eastern luxuries/resources until warfare brought the taste for such luxuries/resources home. Once knowledge was had of such resources, the government sponsored discovery expeditions to find ways to more cheaply import such resources. Once the discoveries were made, commercial enterprise exploited those avenues. We know there are resources to be found in space, and government is sponsoring discovery expeditions to find ways to more cheaply import such resources.

Any endeavor can be done better, but suggesting government does not have a role in pursuing the Public Good of research and discovery is naive at best and destructive of man's pursuit of happiness at worst.

The market has its role, but so does the government. Always remember, my brother--the Them is Us.

2:18 PM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous Fragments of Cobain's Skull said...

It is really a waste once you factor in the fact that the lunar landing was created in a Hollywood basement.

2:19 PM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Brasky could walk to the damn Moon for 10 bucks and a shot of Jack!

He eats lightning and craps thunder.

Forget Polynesia, he could draw you a map of Pangea!

2:22 PM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous Frog Lip said...

Them NASA boys are ROCK CHUNKERS aint they JIM?!?!?!

2:23 PM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad knows a guy who knows a guy who works for NASA and he says if stare directly at the moon rock, you'll go blind.

2:38 PM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger garrett said...

Ah, the Them Is Us argument returns.

It's been too long, my friend ...

(1) Them Is Us, except that Them don't make their decisions with Our best interests in mind. Because Them is really Them, at the end of the day. Just as You are really You and not Me. Just as Me is in the best place to know what is best for Me. No one else is better situated. Mother Theresa may not have been Her most of the time, but she is an exception.

(2) Them gets their money to do what Them wants to do (in the name of "Us") at gunpoint. That is to say, if I don't pay my taxes to Them, I can be incarcerated. And if I resist beingi incarcerated, I can be shot. Them will use force against Me. This is a critical distinction. Mother Theresa and "private business" don't get their operating capital at gunpoint(leaving aside the morally troubling problem of government subsidies and other repulsive practices that corrupt private business making it beholden to the sinister Them). Mother Theresa (to my knowledge) was funded by charitable donations freely given. Wal-Mart (example of private business) is funded by the profits it earns on its enterprise; i.e., Wal-Mart finances itself with money freely given to it by its customers.

(3) To the extent that governments participated in bringing goods to market in the days gone by, capital was wasted. Government may have been successful in some of these endeavors, but I am 100% confident that private enterprise, if allowed to function without government interference and obstructionism (regulations, etc.) would have provided more goods more cheaply. To the betterment of society.


CONCLUSION:
The question is not whether government can DO something. The question is whether the capital that government is taking out of the hands of private citizens is being put to its highest and best use. And it is simply a fact that government does not use profit and loss statements to gauge whether the capital it is spending is providing a decent return. Government uses a ballot box. Ballot boxes are not good measuring sticks to evaluate whether capital is being efficiently and profitably allocated. Ballot boxes are a good measuring stick for evaulating who is corrupt and who is good at corrupting.

Please note, and this is important, that if I am correct that capital is being wasted when government evaluates its allocation of that capital by the ballot box, society as a whole is WORSE off than if government wasn't allocating that capital. Because, again, the question is not whether government has DONE something with the capital it uses or even whether government has done something GOOD with the capital that it uses. The question is whether government has made the best, most efficient use of that capital (i.e., employed the most people, invested in the capital assets that would provide the greatest improvement in the wealth of the society in question). And governments just aren't equipped to do that. "Them" can not allocate capital in a way that is best for "Us". History demonstrates this, and logic appreciates it.



NON-RANT QUESTION:
Please tell me you only mentioned war because of the role war played historically in the discoveries of things you mention. If your argument is, in part, that war was good because it introduced Europeans to stuff that wasn't in Europe, I'm not sure we can continue to be friends. See my other posts wherein I've started to take a pretty pacifist view of the world. War - certainly the way it has been waged by the U.S. since the Civil War - is a criminal enterprise bankrupt of moral decency. The Crusades probably were too.

Also, I thoroughly dispute your assertion that it wasn't until some war that Europeans started realizing they might like cinnamon (spices, etc.). I don't have the history background to say for sure, but I am pretty confident that what actually happened is: (a) some private, commercial enterprise organized and financed some bold entrepreneur found out that there were things in India or someplace like that that Europeans would probably like; (b) that entrepreneur took a little bit of it back to his business associates; and (c) some bureaucrat sniffed some and realized a career could easily be made out of bringing this stuff back and dispatched some troops off to subdue the natives in the name of God.

2:49 PM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And another thing, stop with this spaceman thing! It's getting on my nerves

2:57 PM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger garrett said...

Another way to make my point (in less words) is to say that I think governments do things because they WANT to, not because the things they want to do are the BEST things that they could do.

If their funding was directly dependent on profits being generated by their activities, they would be dramatically more likely to do things that would benefit the "Us" you mentioned.

4:26 PM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Brasky is a son of a bitch.

To Bill Brasky!!!!!

4:37 PM, September 15, 2005  

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