Sunday, August 29, 2021

Let rich give humanity new frontier

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for July 28, 2021)

After Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos both went to space-- depending on how you define "space"-- within days of each other, in rockets built by their respective companies, outrage activists got upset.

Were people angry when Henry Ford first rode in a Ford automobile, or when Alexander Graham Bell made his first phone call?

It's not a matter of how wealthy Branson and Bezos are. It was their responsibility to ride their rockets.

When your company builds rockets, you, as the head of the company, need to put some skin in the game. How could you ask anyone else to ride if you're not willing?

I'm not envious of their wealth, anyway. Other things bother me more.

I'm not a fan when Elon Musk's SpaceX takes government payloads into space or seeks FAA permission to launch rockets or built a tower. When government hallucinates the authority to "allow" or "forbid" business, and backs it with threats of force, you do what you have to do. I still don't like it.

Don't suggest they pay more taxes, either. Only the economically ignorant want government to tax corporations more-- or at all. All corporate taxes are, and must be, paid by the customers, like every business expense. I can't afford to support government by paying more than necessary for things I want and need.

In space flight, as with anything else, the early users are going to be those who can afford the immense price. I'm not envious. Other people buy more expensive cars, bigger and better houses, and take nicer, longer vacations than I can afford. For me to envy anyone who can afford things I can't would be pointless.

In this case, they are also taking the greatest risks. By the time the cost of space travel has dropped to the point where people like me can afford a ride, most bugs should be worked out. I'm glad others are going first.

Building rockets to take people into space is essential for the future of our species, even if you don't want to go. NASA had its chance. Now others have stepped up to do what government failed to do.

The envious can't see that money spent on space travel is helping everyone on Earth. This money is better spent than most charitable donations, if you're looking at long-term benefits. Humanity needs a frontier more than most people realize. Let them give you one.

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Those who see details are more likely to also understand the Big Picture than "Big Picture people" are to grasp the importance of details-- which they are too busy to notice, anyway.

Hallucinate hard enough and government doesn't look like a failure

I asked a Right-statist what "not failing" would look like to him.

His main concern is the protection of everyone's property ("handling crime") and things "too big" for an individual to do on his own. And he wants it all to be done "efficiently". So, I guess, as long as a state does those things it is not failing in his view. 


The primary violator of everyone’s property is government; much worse than freelance criminals. More on that when we discuss crime below. Also, if political government exists, I want it to be as inefficient as possible. Efficient government would be a nightmare for the people, plus it can trick them into tolerating it longer. It's the worst-case scenario.

Roads: First, I'll say I don't know how things would work out in a free society, the best I can do is come up with voluntary solutions I can think of. The actual way it works out could be much different.

Who would build the roads? The same contractors who build them now. Who would pay the contractors? The same people who pay them now-- you and me. How would they be paid? Not through taxation.

One possibility-- businesses would want roads so you could get to their doors. Those roads would also have to pass by your house to be of any use to them. You'd pay for the roads when you use the business, so toll booths would be unnecessary.

The difference between "managing a project" and government is the same as between sex and rape: consent. The structure can be the same, but it's a totally different act.

As far as agreeing where the road should go. Keep the roads which already exist. But new ones? Often a new development will lay out and build the new roads, then hand them over to government when they're done. Just skip that last step.

If a big project is actually wanted, people will chip in. Those who don't value it don't have to. If they then decide to use it after it's finished, they'll have to pay a user fee or chip in as though they were there from the beginning. Any project that can't get enough voluntary funding to survive needs to die anyway.

Traffic lights (and other traffic signals) make travel more dangerous. Maybe a few informational signs would be good, but most of that stuff needs to go away.

And that's assuming roads would still be as necessary in a free society. They might not, since flying vehicles would become more common (and most likely, affordable).

Crime: Cops now steal more property than freelance thieves, and have for several years running. Even before you factor in fines or the taxation which funds police. And that's only one small piece of the whole. 

If "we" are paying government employees to deter crime, we are getting screwed.

Police don't protect or defend you or your property. Warren v. District of Columbia settled that question. 

When inmates are asked what they fear most, it is never the risk of being arrested-- it is armed intended targets. The job of defending yourself and your property has always been yours, even if you imagined you had hired someone else to do it instead. If you want to hire someone, I wouldn't stop you. Just don't make me pay for it on your behalf and if your employees harm an innocent during the commission of their "protection", let them be held fully accountable (and you, as well, because you are their employer).

I don't want government courts judging criminals. It's a conflict of interest any time government is one of the parties. Do they recuse themselves in that case? Nope. 

Justice isn't about punishment (revenge), it is about restitution. Incarceration prevents restitution and robs the victim again. Prison is a racket. My dad worked in prisons-- they are totally illegitimate and only serve to train criminals to view themselves as apart from society and give them more excuses to target "others". They also operate as Criminal University. If someone is too dangerous to be walking free, let his next intended victim (or a bystander) kill him and solve the problem. Prison only makes things worse.

Again, "Would each person [protect] their own property?" If you aren't already doing this you're failing your responsibility.

"Who guards my stuff when I want to go fishing or to play cards with friends?" Security systems, neighbors you've built a relationship with, etc. The cops don't do that now, why worry that they wouldn't be there to continue to not do it in the future?

If you'd rather have "pros" protect you, go ahead. Just leave the rest of us out of it. As long as I'm allowed to opt out and not pay for them on your behalf, what you do won't violate me.

Government is an automatic failure, from top to bottom, front to back, side to side, and beginning to end. A free society couldn't possibly fail any harder. At this point, clinging to The State because you can't think how the alternative would work is just a mental problem.


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