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AgnostoLibertarianTechnoGeek

Friday, December 10, 2004

SpaceShip Zero

From Yahoo News -- ISS Crew Counts Calories as Food Supply Runs Low:
With food stores running low, the two astronauts living aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are cutting back their meal intake and awaiting a critical cargo delivery expected to arrive on Dec. 25.

Yes, we should leave space exploration to the government. That makes the most sense.

5 Comments:

  • Nicely put!

    By Blogger Marybeth, at 11:37 PM  

  • Good one. I'm so surprised- not.

    Ruth
    Freudian Slippers

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:38 AM  

  • Sorry to burst into the Liberatian bubble world here, but I've worked for both government and business (both ma and pa operations and the huge mega-corp), and in my experience, the latter is no more competant or better organized the former - plus the fact that business tends have little or no respect for its employees and no accountability to the public (other than profit for the shareholders).

    If the the ISS was privately run, I have the feeling that the astonauts would still be rationing food, but in this case it would be because management had decided that they could sustain current productivity levels on one meal a day, perhaps even instituting "food for work" program (and meanwhile, reallocating the food budget to payments on that executive condo in the Bahamas...).

    By Blogger Mocka Con, at 5:58 PM  

  • Daldude, you miss the critical point that privately run organizations have the punishment of the market to bear if they do not do well. If a company does not meet the desires of its customers, it will not make money, and it will go out of business. If a government agency does a poor job, it gets more money. If a company pays its employees too little money, it gets very poor quality employees, and the quality of its output goes down, and customers don't pay as much for the company's wares. Therefore a company has an incentive to pay its employees as much as it needs to in order to maximize its revenues and profits. Government programs have no such incentives.

    By Blogger David, at 8:05 PM  

  • David,

    That "punishment of the market" theory only works when the market (i.e. the public) is aware of potential malfeasance, and when there are true alternatives to choose from. Enron is a prime example. That fiasco occurred under what you would no doubt consider overly-regulated system. Imagine what might have happened had there been no government oversight at all.

    And as far as the scenario where "a company pays its employees too little money, it gets very poor quality employees, and the quality of its output goes down, and customers don't pay as much for the company's wares", that approach seems to have worked pretty well for Walmart. Not sure that I'd want Walmart running my space station, though.

    Maybe I'm a dreamer, but I'd like to think that Mankind can be motivated by interests other than mere profit. Should our only purpose for exploring space be to make a buck? That would be the end result if we privatized everything. All human endeavors would be reduced to profit/loss equations. Would you have preferred Armstrong's famous quote to be "One small step for man, one giant acquisition for Amalgamated Lunar Mining Corporation"?

    By Blogger Mocka Con, at 1:09 PM  

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