Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Right to the Moon

My Lovely Wife suggested that I make a blog reference to the Newster's moon base idea, incorporating Ralph Cramden's classic threatening, fist-in-her-face line: "One of these day's Alice . . . . Pow - right to the moon!"

Well, that's how I remember it, anyway.

I am nothing, if not obedient.  My intent was to find (rather cop-outishly, I'll admit) a brief YouTube clip featuring that line.  But, alas, no.  If you can do better, please let me know.

Then, she went and found this page.  Hoo-boy.  Pwned by my spouse.

At the link above, Groobiecat did all the heavy lifting, and put up a damned good post, including a fun Photoshopped pic.  A must-read, I'd say.

Now, by way of fair and balanced (choke!) reporting, I'll also direct you to the ever independent-thinking Tux's defense of the out-of-this-world Newtonian moon-base idea.

 My answer to Tux's "What's the matter with a Moon base?" question includes these points:
- the cost, which in a world filled with austerians, is an automatic no-go;
- the lack of a real need to do anything specifically lunar;
- the unsustainability of a moon base;
- Newt is a lying political opportunist, playing to the Florida space industry base.  His plan isn't a realistic proposal.  It is a cynical, pandering ploy for votes;
- did Newt really float the idea of the Moon becoming a 51st State, or was that commentator hyperbole?

Tux talks about employing all sorts of highly skilled professionals in this potential program, and you can't simply gainsay that.  However, on balance, the negatives overpower, I think.  Besides - isn't there some sort of a project, right here on earth, that would employ all those same skilled professionals, while doing something real?

Space exploration has a very high cool-geek factor.  But, deep in my heart, I believe the time for manned space exploration has come and gone.  Actually, several decades ago.

There are pressing needs here at home, and excess brain-power available to devote to solving them.

Shouldn't there be some realistic way way to bring them together?

On the other hand, though - and more fundamentally - we don't have structural unemployment.  If we did, this kind of specific skill-matching program would be right on the mark.  What we do have is general unemployment.  The answer to that is to correct the aggregate demand shortfall.

I wonder what Keynes would say?


The Arthurian said...

To date, there is no economy beyond the earth's atmosphere. No profit centers, no wealth accumulating in space. All the spending that happens on space programs is spending by earthlings and payments to earthlings.

Jazzbumpa said...

True -

But a big driver for exploration has always been the opportunity to exploit the resources and potential wealth of the new region.

If the moon has something to offer that mother earth does not, then we could find an opportunity.

Does not look promising.