June 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm #19935tylerhenrycarlMember
Now, I am a space nut. I would love to see humanity among the stars, yet I wonder rather humanity can get there through a free market alone. I understand there are private companies such as SpaceX, but they primarily enter contracts with the government. Do you guys believe that there would be enough private initiative for humanity to actually start leaving Earth?June 5, 2013 at 9:48 am #19936
Incrementally, of course. A market’s ends will get us there. The means come from building on past accomplishments. Government is romanticized as being the expedient way of doing things. One must engage in austerity to soundly produce. My belief is that we’d be much further along like the tortoise in the race than having used force (government) as a means to an end.June 5, 2013 at 9:49 am #19937
I strongly believe that all bets are off without the use of honest money in civilization.June 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm #19938maester_millerParticipant
I don’t think the issue is so much whether the free market “could” produce space travel, but rather if it “would.”
Remember, the free market is designed to fill the most urgent needs of individuals, not the arbitrary demands of governments. So, for example, I would say that the free market *could* have produced the Apollo Program and landed on the moon, but they didn’t, because landing on the moon was not economically viable, presumably because it wasn’t a very urgent need of many individuals out there.
While the resources of the free market are vast and *could* be used to meet almost any challenge, I don’t think the free market will necessarily be all that interested in sending a bunch of people to Mars until they figure out how to monetize it somehow. Going to Mars is not very high up on most people’s list of priorities.June 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm #19939
I think eventually the free market would have used outer space. Who is SmartMuffin? Anyway, I don’t know about the statement “the free market is designed to fill the most urgent needs of individuals”. People can invest their capital any way they want–hind sight is 20/20 even in a free market.June 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm #19940jhendon5Member
Human history demonstrates that we are curious, risk-taking explorers.
Economic history demonstrates that individual incentive and initiative create the most innovative, entrepreneurial, risk-taking, imaginative sources of material wealth imaginable.
Now conjure a scenario in which America somehow manages to have a political convulsion – a seizure if you will – of such magnitude that the highest political office in the land is held by a collectivist.
As hard to imagine as this might be, if it did somehow occur, one might speculate that NASA’s budget would be so constrained (in order that bloated, corrupt federal bureaucracies like the IRS had sufficient funds to give its staff line-dancing lessons) that in order to get Americans into space we had to pay to hitch rides on launch vehicles from a Communist country like Russia.
The point of such a hypothetical feat of imagination isn’t that government cripples such privately-funded space exploration projects with excessive taxation and regulation, nor is it to imply that government bureaucrats can’t be curious, exploring, risk-taking, entrepreneurial, innovative, imaginative creators of wealth.
Well … yes it is.
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