Media Casualties Mount
Administration Split On Europe Invasion
Administration In Crisis Over Burgeoning Quagmire
Congress Concerned About Diversion From War On Japan
Pot, Kettle On Line Two...
Allies Seize Paris
Gore Book Sales Tank, Supporters Claim Unfair Tactics
Satan Files Lack Of Defamation Suit
Why This Blog Bores People With Space Stuff
A New Beginning
My Hit Parade
Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds)
James Lileks Bleats
Winds Of Change (Joe Katzman)
Little Green Footballs (Charles Johnson)
Eject Eject Eject (Bill Whittle)
Alan Boyle (MSNBC)
Space Politics (Jeff Foust)
Space Transport News (Clark Lindsey)
NASA Space Flight
A Voyage To Arcturus (Jay Manifold)
Dispatches From The Final Frontier (Michael Belfiore)
Personal Spaceflight (Jeff Foust)
The Flame Trench (Florida Today)
Rocket Forge (Michael Mealing)
COTS Watch (Michael Mealing)
Curmudgeon's Corner (Mark Whittington)
Tales of the Heliosphere
Out Of The Cradle
Space For Commerce (Brian Dunbar)
The Speculist (Phil Bowermaster)
Spacecraft (Chris Hall)
Space Pragmatism (Dan Schrimpsher)
Eternal Golden Braid (Fred Kiesche)
Carried Away (Dan Schmelzer)
Laughing Wolf (C. Blake Powers)
Chair Force Engineer (Air Force Procurement)
JesusPhreaks (Scott Bell)
Nanobot (Howard Lovy)
Lagniappe (Derek Lowe)
Geek Press (Paul Hsieh)
Redwood Dragon (Dave Trowbridge)
Turned Up To Eleven (Paul Orwin)
Cowlix (Wes Cowley)
Quark Soup (Dave Appell)
Assymetrical Information (Jane Galt and Mindles H. Dreck)
Marginal Revolution (Tyler Cowen et al)
Man Without Qualities (Robert Musil)
Knowledge Problem (Lynne Kiesling)
Cut On The Bias (Susanna Cornett)
The Funny Pages
Cox & Forkum
Day By Day
Happy Fun Pundit
Amish Tech Support (Lawrence Simon)
Scrapple Face (Scott Ott)
Quasipundit (Adragna & Vehrs)
England's Sword (Iain Murray)
Daily Pundit (Bill Quick)
Daimnation! (Damian Penny)
Z+ Blog (Andrew Zolli)
The Kolkata Libertarian
Midwest Conservative Journal
Protein Wisdom (Jeff Goldstein et al)
Dean's World (Dean Esmay)
Yippee-Ki-Yay (Kevin McGehee)
Spleenville (Andrea Harris)
Random Jottings (John Weidner)
On the Third Hand (Kathy Kinsley, Bellicose Woman)
Inappropriate Response (Moira Breen)
Inadvertent Comic Relief
Warblogger Watcher (Cowardly Anonymous Idiotarians)
Other Worthy Weblogs
Ain't No Bad Dude (Brian Linse)
A libertarian reads the papers
Anna Franco Review
Ben Kepple's Daily Rant
Dropscan (Shiloh Bucher)
End the War on Freedom
Insolvent Republic of Blogistan
James Reuben Haney
Mind over what matters
Page Fault Interrupt
Sand In The Gears(Anthony Woodlief)
The Blogs of War
The Fly Bottle
The Illuminated Donkey
What she really thinks
Where HipHop & Libertarianism Meet
Zem : blog
Space Policy Links
The Space Review
The Space Show
Space Frontier Foundation
Space Policy Digest BBS
USS Clueless (Steven Den Beste)
Unremitting Verse (Will Warren)
World View (Brink Lindsay)
The Last Page
More Than Zero (Andrew Hofer)
Pathetic Earthlings (Andrew Lloyd)
Spaceship Summer (Derek Lyons)
The New Space Age (Rob Wilson)
Rocketman (Mark Oakley)
Site designed by
"Libertarian" Space Enthusiasts
David Davenport puts up a whiny, snarky strawman of an argument in the comments section of this post.
...so-called Libertarians contradict themselves when they ask for the gu'ment to get out of the way ... except to put up the money.
Because such a column would have zero impact on any of those people. I can, however, influence government policy.
But I find this commentary quite amusing. As a libertarian, I'd be perfectly happy to see the government stop spending money on the manned spaceflight program. The problem is, the government persists in spending about five or six billion a year on it. All I'm asking is that they spend it more intelligently than continuing to hand out cost-plus contracts to a couple big contractors.
If you want to delude yourself that we don't currently have a space industrial policy, David, go ahead.
As I said, I'd be happy to see all of the government funding go away, but as long as they insist on spending it, I don't think that it's unreasonable, or even particularly "libertarian," to want to see more manned spaceflight for my (and the other taxpayers') dollars. Prizes would almost certainly be a more effective means of achieving this than the current process.
The argument for protectionism on national defense grounds? Once can make the same argument for government subsidies such as X Prizes for atmospheric aircraft or shipbuilding or steel production.
And we get them. For example, look up the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. Not to mention the fact that the few American shipyards that remain in business do so via government contracts.
If private private private enterprise can DO IT in space, why doesn't free free free private enterprise go ahead and do it and quit whining for the government to put up an X Prize?
It is. But it would happen even faster if the government wasn't misspending so much money, falsely demonstrating that it can't be done more cost effectively.Posted by Rand Simberg at October 30, 2003 08:37 AM
There is also, as you have ably pointed out, the non-trivial effect of ambiguous regulatory policy on investment.Posted by Jay Manifold at October 30, 2003 12:50 PM
There has been discussion of a government reward *LIKE* an expanded x-prize, but it should be pointed out that the x-prize *IS* privately funded. Also, Jeff Bezos (Amazon) is paying for "Blue Origin," it is strongly rumored that Paul Allen (Microsoft) is funding Scaled Composites, the new Heinlein foundation prize is specifically designated to promote private space efforts, and there are a number of big names involved in other private space efforts.
There's also no question that NASA did a great deal to shoot down past private space efforts. Up until Challenger, they heavily subsidized sat. launches. Bureaucracy in general has stymied several efforts. Getting permission to launch in the U.S. has been nearly impossible, but companies that got fed up and tried to move elsewhere would be accused of being evil weapons makers. Given that rocket development is expensive, and doesn't pay off until there is working hardware, it doesn't usually take long for a company to be forced into bankruptcy.
It looks like things may be changing somewhat now. It is very possible that private effort WILL be the real key to space.Posted by VR at October 30, 2003 04:55 PM
In my opinion, you're more likely to get NASA funding reduced than to get the government to reallocate funds from NASA to a private enterprise incentive structure. There is just too much loss of political and bureaucratic control with an incentive structure, so your typical power-concious government person would rather not fund such a program. Thus, the 'more pure' libertarian approach of just trying to get the government out of the space business is likely to be more effective.Posted by Hermit Dave at October 30, 2003 07:03 PM
"As a libertarian, I'd be perfectly happy to see the government stop spending money on the manned spaceflight program. The problem is, the government persists in spending about five or six billion a year on it. All I'm asking is that they spend it more intelligently..."
Well said and very close to my own view. I wish I thought to say it this way when a while back someone essentially accused me of being a socialist (perhaps it was communist) because I'd like to see us focus on a doable and worthwhile goal rather than the waste of effort we see today.
The really fortunate thing is that ultimately NASA has to go before congress to get it's funding and they are beginning to listen to the many voices like yours that say we need to kill this white elephant and move in a more enterprising way.
I'm very hopeful and optimistic about seeing some improvement even though I acknowedge the forces that would like to keep us going nowhere.
[ ... The really fortunate thing is that ultimately NASA has to go before congress to get it's funding and they are beginning to listen to the many voices like yours that say we need to kill this white elephant and move in a more enterprising way ... ]
You guys assume that the choice is either NASA or private private private enterprise.
Intra-government competition is also possible. It could be that DARPA is contemplating a two-stage, horizontal take-off launch vehicle.
Col. Rutan is not Howard Roark. Col. Rutan's is hooked up with the DoD in more ways than Libertarians want to think about. He's angling for a DARPA contract.
Abolish NASA? Good idea. Let's let the USAF have a try at the manned space launch biz.Posted by David Davenport at November 3, 2003 11:50 AM
Post a comment