(Fred Weinberg/The Penny Press) – As I write this, the Space Shuttle Atlantis has landed on its final mission of a program which delivered, perhaps less than we wanted but more—much more—than we expected.
That we are closing down our ability to send men into outer space is a bigger outrage from our political class against society than Barack Obama’s health care plan.
Technology is the great equalizer.
A little guy in rural Nevada with a laptop and an internet connection can literally change the world, today.
How did that happen?
It all began when President Kennedy committed the nation to going to the moon.
Barack Obama quotes Kennedy freely when it suits his purpose.
On the subject of space exploration, however, not so much. If at all.
Barack Obama was a little over 13 months old when Kennedy made one of the most important speeches any President of this nation ever made.
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” is what Kennedy told an audience at Rice University on September 12, 1962.
That is what Obama is shutting down.
Here’s what else Obama is shutting down:
About 30,000 jobs.
And his anti-business administration is virtually assuring that they will not find a home in the private sector working on a private space program because, even though the government wants out of the space business, they still want to regulate it.
The TSA can’t even secure airports without making 91 year old women in wheelchairs take off their adult diapers but the folks who brought you the TSA want to regulate space exploration.
The Forest Service and the BLM pursue policies which virtually guarantee that every year more and more acreage will burn in wild fires but the folks who brought you these agencies want to regulate space exploration.
The one thing the Federal Government has done spectacularly right they want to shut down.
And then, if any capitalist should want to pick up the slack, they will have to deal with the most anti-business administration in generations as well as a government which actually wants to regulate exploration outside its boundaries. Way outside.
The logic behind shutting down the space program—and let’s not kid each other, that’s exactly what these clowns are intent on doing—is that somehow the most powerful, exceptional nation ever conceived of can’t afford it. Because we should spend the money we confiscate from people to promote “social justice”.
What’s lost in all of this is what a Federal Government is supposed to do with its treasure. That comes from a document which was actually written before Barack Obama was born, the United States Constitution.
“In order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
In other words, pure scientific research with no specific commercial application is what the government is supposed to fund. Why?
Well, it helps “provide for the common defence” and it “promotes the general Welfare.”
There’s an interesting study which was recently released about poverty, which is defined in America as a four person family living on less than $22,000 a year.
Here are some results from that study:
The average family living below the poverty line lives in a home that is in good repair, not crowded and equipped with air conditioning, clothes washer and dryer, and cable or satellite TV service.
The average family living below the poverty line prepares meals in a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker, and microwave as well as oven and stove.
The average family living below the poverty line has use of two color TVs, a DVD player, VCR and –and if children are there – an Xbox, PlayStation, or other video game system.
Would you like to hazard a guess as to what their lives might be like had we NOT had a space program?
Technology would be the province of the rich.
Communications based on technology –everything but snail mail—would be the province of the rich.
Education—as poorly as we deliver it in certain public institutions—would be the province of the rich.
It was the space program research which has allowed us to have a very high standard of living based on cheap technology.
So shutting down NASA (and, again, that’s exactly what is happening) isn’t a gift to the poor.
It’s a sucker punch.
And, I promise you it will cost us all more in the long run than defaulting on our debt.