“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…” John Fitzgerald Kennedy 9/12/1962. On July 20, 1969 two Americans landed on the Moon.
Less than 39 years after Kennedy’s words the last American space shuttle will land and be put in a museum, not because it’s worn out, not because we have something better but because we are simply no longer a first world nation. The plan for the foreseeable future is to pay the Russians to transport two teams of Astronauts to the ISS each year. We’re creating jobs in Russia… Houston we have a problem.
You can argue that such things are a waste of money but you can’t find anything that hasn’t been affected by the technology the space program developed. Doing something hard always leads to innovation, historically this motivation was sometimes warfare but not always. Building massive pyramids is an early example of government spending pushing innovation but the Egyptians weren’t the first to do this, in fact this was common practice.
The Romans took this government driven innovation model to a massive scale building water systems, roads, massive arenas and on and on. They called it Pax Romana or the Roman Peace that lasted about 200 years where innovation and building replaced war. This was often a hard sell for the Emperors who had to keep their own neo-con Senators and Roman Legion/industrial complex in check. Somebody always wants to conquer the world for personal profit, no matter the real cost. They regularly issued new coins with the Emperor on one side and “Pax” on the other to promote the “wealth“ of peace.
Pax Americana has had its moments but the run ended ten years ago when we entered a permanent state of war against the “barbarians”. Our aqueducts and roads are crumbling but the villas for the elite class are ever bigger. American innovation is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, there is only enough money (after providing villa for the rich) to hammer plowshares into swords and the coins never say “Pax“ on the back.
You can take the kids to museums to see artifacts from the glory of Rome and you’ll be able to see the last of America’s glory there too. Best go now while the museums are still open.
PS Today is also the tenth anniversary of Bush’s first day of deficit. 50 billion in Treasury bonds were sold on this day to cover the budget sort fall created by a massive tax rebate that really just masked a tax cut for the rich, the middle class had their “rebate” subtracted from their tax refund the following year. Bush always liked a practical joke. That 50 billion would be enough to fund the food stamp program even at today’s level for ten years. www.prairie2.com