Teaching Mankind to Go to Mars

Right now a lot of people are complaining about rich people funding development of commercial space tourism. The issue being they would spend the money to give someone a meal or shelter. While I am not Christian, I do believe in the idea that giving a man a fish he can eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he can eat for a lifetime. Space tourism is a way to fund teaching mankind to go to Mars.

How do we fund advancements in our society?

We are overpopulating this planet. Actually, that sounds like we haven’t reached that point already. I believe we have and its just going to take a while for us to chew through available resources. Until we can control our population, and reduce it, we need to reach for the stars. How do we fund that? Do we tax everyone to fund a public space program? I do believe we should have a government space program but I also believe people would tire of spending money on an idea that may take years if not generations to come to fruition. People do need to eat today.

To that end I think rich people funding pet projects of taking people to space just to look around is a good idea. We fund amusement parks now. To say that we cannot fund space tourism because people need to eat, is to suggest we also should not have Disney World or movie theaters so long as one person goes hungry.

Commercial development will help with teaching mankind to go to Mars

Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic), Elon Musk (SpaceX), and Jeff Bezos (Blue Origins) are all pursuing some form of space program that doesn’t directly lead to feeding the masses. However, they are all employing high end workers, scientists and engineers, to develop space programs teaching mankind to go to Mars. Some are developing commercial space travel for recreational trips to space, while others are developing Internet services and planning future missions to Mars.

All of them are paying workers and those workers pay other people throughout their day to day commerce. That puts food on the table up and down the line. They can take their money and build a space tourism business that pulls money from the wealthy and puts it in to the hands of pilots, cashiers, restaurants, flight attendants, and others far into the future. They are magnifying the impact of their billions by creating commerce. Anything that gets stagnant money out of the pockets of the wealthy and feeding the economic engine is good for putting bread on the table of ordinary people.

A rich persons money unspent is wasted money

Money sitting in some investment or safe of a wealthy person is doing absolutely nothing for regular people. The problem is of course, that money has been accumulating up in to wealthy pockets for decades. I’ve seen wealthy people buy gold plated scooters and guns and someone will say that is a waste of money. Not if it gets it out of their pockets and back into the economy. That is looking at a wider view than just that person riding a scooter made of gold.

Now of course a gold plated scooter is silly, I’ll grant you, but space travel is not. We need some way to fund the missions to Mars that will elevate our society to space faring. Sure, sure, we could live within our means and only produce that which the Earth can provide, but be realistic, that will not happen. It is not going to happen across all nations on Earth because people are greedy, racist, and will just take what they will from others.

Short sightedness is killing us

People are inherently selfish. Both as individuals and corporations, we only look so far as our own self interests. If I fire this person today will it get me more profit this quarter? Do they consider the value of that person in the long term? I’ve seen it, middle managers making a name for themselves off of short term gains all while cutting a business to the bone.

If I replace all my low end workers with artificial intelligence, AI, will I profit? No one ever thinks about those workers and whether they will have jobs in the future. At some point with AI taking over, many people will be left jobless and there will not be some better skilled job waiting for them because AI can do that too. Will the money they no longer have to spend cause the economy to suffer such that replacing their jobs with automation ends up costing that business enough that they go in to bankruptcy? Seeing that coming, will that business just double down and replace more workers? No one thinks about the larger picture and because they do not or cannot, we will never stop the waste that leads us as a people to overconsume this planet’s resources.

Going Up Mankind is the new Go West ,Young Man

We must expand or die. Two hundred years ago we started our expansion across this nation to help our population grow. We needed room for our population to proper, “Go West, Young Man, Go West“. We destroyed an indigenous population to do it but we prospered, and now there is no more West to go to. Our cities overflow, our forests burn, our farmlands dry out. To prosper we either change fundamentally how we live or we find a new place to go and that new place is up.

If the rich want to have cocktails in low Earth orbit, so be it. If that pays for the research and development that helps in teaching mankind to go to Mars and gets us the technology to get resources from space or to take us to new planets, then that is money well spent. Yes, they could buy every person on Earth a burger give someone a meal for a day. That would be a charitable and good thing, but it does nothing beyond that. It would be short sighted and foolish and end up leading to poverty and decline, the exact opposite thing those complaining seem to wish.

There is no one solution to all problems

I do believe a universal basic income is what is needed to solve the issue of artificial intelligence replacing workers. There is no great overseer to ensure everyone has a job. The government tracks various statistics but no one says we are going to have one thousand fewer jobs than workers in a month, we need to make a thousand new jobs. The market does not care. Universal basic income will help redistribute enough money to keep everyone fed.

And yes, I believe that the rich should pay more in taxes. I have no issue with a 90 percent tax rate at the highest 1% bracket. We have done it before and when we did our country prospered and paid down its debt. No one, not even Elon Musk, does enough personally to deserve to make the yearly income of one person every few seconds.

We have many issues that have many different solutions. Certainly we likely do not have the time to take advantage of space to save our society from overpopulation. We need to address how we procreate and how we consume resources. Living within our means should also be a goal. That said, what people do with their money, if it involves teaching mankind to go to Mars, is good for everyone.

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