Guilty Pleasures of Government Spending

Obama aims to ax moon mission (orlandosentinel.com)

NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there — that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way.

White House to Outsource Space Flight (foxnews.com/scitech)

NASA’s Constellation program should replace our aging fleet of space shuttles, which make their last flight in July. But reports indicate Obama may eliminate the program entirely, leaving the U.S. relying on Russian vehicles for space transportation.

Outsourcing space flight is a better option for the future of space travel, because it will reduce costs and spur innovation. NASA should set a price per pound to orbit, or to the moon, and let businesses compete and innovate to meet the goal. Some of the biggest innovations in air-travel were the result of the USPS using this same model to handle the costs of airmail.

That last paragraph sounds fairly reasonable, doesn’t it? But wait; there is a problem, I’ve tricked myself again. I’ve allowed myself to be seduced by the ends side of the force. If I am not careful, forever will it dominate my destiny, consume me it will..

When it comes to spending money on NASA, I usually keep my mouth shut because I like the benefits from NASA. I craftily push out of consciousness the dangers in using the-ends-justify-the-means arguments by focusing only on the good things about NASA.

NASA is far from worthless; benefits from NASA programs include –

Good Science – We have a much better understanding of Earth’s environment, and by environment I don’t mean just what happens on Earth. Our real environment is a big as the universe.

Technological Spin-offs – The Apollo program shows what happens when you have a concentration of geeks in one area; they will solve problems you didn’t know existed. Geeks are not at the top of the ego charts and work well together to achieve goals.

Survival of our species – If Earth takes a big hit from an asteroid, humans could be gone forever. The sooner humans spread out from Earth, the better the changes for our survival.

The budget crisis will continue to grow as long as we are unwilling to forgo the guilty pleasures of government spending. NASA is just one in a long list of guilty pleasures Americans have indulged in.

The love of money is facing stiff competition from the love of force to do good, as the root of all evil. The love of force to do good easily seduces the purest of hearts, who are unwilling to delay gratification of good goals.

The philosophy of the ends justifying the means is retarding evolutionary progress towards respecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Maybe there is a yet to be discovered force of nature slowing our progress in the conquest of space, until we are ready to respect the rights of others species we will encounter.

Even when the fate of our species hangs in the balance, it’s wrong to use force to preserve our species. We aren’t a species worthy of survival if we are willing to force others to our vision of what is beneficial.

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