THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 514, April 12, 2009
"Deny the consent of silence to tyranny"
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
I would like to thank Mr. Knapp for the temporary appointment as NASA Administrator for his cabinet. I refer to the appointment as temporary because my duty is to eliminate the agency, auction off its parts, return the land to the several states or universities from which it came, and thereby open the space frontier.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is a corrupt agency, a killer, and an impediment to space access. Based on the decades that I've studied the agency, I have come to the conclusion that it is designed to function in exactly these ways. It is working as designed, so "fixing" it isn't a solution.
NASA's corruption is so complete that even efforts for competing tourism activities near the major space centers have been attacked and shut down. NASA has attacked and destroyed hundreds of space entrepreneurs, to the detriment of their business enterprises, health, and sometimes lives. NASA is not even competent to provide consistent, safe access to space, but has, on three separate occasions, slaughtered the entire crew complement of one of its Apollo capsules and two of its shuttles.
In organising its shuttle and space station programmes, NASA has consistently divided these up to engage or form companies in as many Congressional districts as possible. As a result, these activities have been behind schedule, over budget, and in the case of the shuttle, very deadly. Efforts to reform NASA and fix its problems have been many and varied. The recommendations are always the same, and are always circumvented.
As a space enthusiast from a very young age, I have always wanted to go live on the Moon. I have wanted to build hotels on the Moon. These dreams are deliberately and actively prevented by NASA policies, and by the implementation of its corrupt allocation of contracts, its attacks on competitors in the private sector, and its determination never to find and punish specific acts of negligence nor criminal corruption.
Some libertarians think that NASA is an agency worth having. The exploration of space and the development of new technologies seem like worthy goals. However, even the most cursory examination of NASA as it actually performs shows that it is deliberately corrupt in every activity, violently and brutally coercive in its treatment of every private enterprise activity, and frequently an impediment even to international cooperation in space.
If there were no NASA, how would Americans get into space? Dozens of existing space tourism companies, many of them here in the United States, are eager to develop and in many cases have tested manned spaceflight capabilities. Companies like Bigelow Aerospace have developed orbiting facilities, several of which have also been tested. Past efforts to work with NASA to develop space tourism modules for the shuttle, or to provide commercial space launches to the space station, have failed. In some cases they have resulted in further opportunities for corruption.
The myths surrounding NASA are many, but the most dangerous myth that NASA promotes is the concept that access to space is difficult, expensive, and dangerous. Access to space is actually possible with technologies developed in the 1940s and was routine in the late 1950s. The refinement and advancement of these technologies offers many inexpensive approaches, such as mass production, generational technology development, and reduced bureaucracy. Countries such as Russia which have used some of these approaches are able to provide much lower cost access to space and have far better safety records than NASA.
NASA has proven, time and again, what has been known by Austrian economists and free market capitalists the world over. The government is a terribly inappropriate, brutally coercive, and tremendously expensive agency for any activity which can be provided by the private sector. NASA's activities function as a series of cautionary tales, not only of how not to do things in space, but how not to do things on Earth.
It has been my conclusion, moreover, that NASA must be eliminated. NASA delenda est.
Jim Davidson is a sovereign individual who writes extensively on topics ranging from individual liberty to nanotechnology. He is an entrepreneur with extensive experience in space tourism, online sales, medical practice management, real estate, port development, toll road development, and education. He is currently working on an initial public offering for a computer company and a massively multiplayer online gaming project. He also markets gold and silver to individual seeking to hedge against inflation. Please visit one of his sites, such as Vertoro.com, Indomitus.net, or GoLightSpeed.com