Make Spaceships, Not Slogans

Source: EconLog
by Leonid Sirota & Akshaya Kamalnath

“The accelerating and increasingly successful effort of private enterprise to bring humans to space are often derisively described as a ‘billionaires’ space race.’ News of Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos’[s] flights demonstrating the capabilities of their respective spacecraft triggered much discussion about (i) tax-avoiding practices of the rich; (ii) how money should be spent on charity instead; (iii) whether private space flight was ethical in the face of inequality, climate crisis, etc; and (iv) whether we should even care. Contrast this with the excitement and fascination with which, say, the Met Gala, at which the rich and famous fundraise for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, is routinely met. … the creation of new businesses, indeed of an entirely new category of business, is suspicious, while a call to ‘tax the rich’ is supposed to be an act of courage.” (10/12/21)