Space Flight Exploration: Where no Government Has Gone Before

Elon Musk’s (the real-life Tony Stark from Ironman) SpaceEx company made history last week when the company’s Dragon capsule berthed at the International Space Station, carrying a boatload of supplies. It was the first privately funded space vehicle to reach the Space Station. It will not be the last, we hope.

This is one of the unintended consequences of the Welfare State/corporatist model going bust. The government has to get out of the business of things it can’t afford to do. NASA, for example, can’t send a man into space anymore. It has to pay the Russians to do this, or hitch a ride with a private company.

Our prediction is that private sector will take commercial space flight and exploration where no government has gone before. Human trips to space will become cheaper, easier, and more frequent. And the greatest human achievements of the next 100 years won’t be terrestrial. We’ll begin to get off the planet and out into space.

That idea probably terrifies people who think that human beings are a parasite on the planet to begin with. But as we said last week, risk-taking behaviour promotes the survival of the species, and there is nothing riskier than getting off the planet and out into the stars. Exploring the unknown world gives people a sense of imagination and purpose that lasts beyond a generation. That is something to get excited about. There really is a new frontier out there and we could be on the cusp of another great leap in human endeavour.

Of course all that could fall down like a big tower of Babel if the world’s financial system implodes. Our current arrangement for allocating scarce resources and pricing things has become perverted by unsound money. The whole system needs a re-boot. The downtime between the end of this story and the beginning of the next could be pretty grim for some people.

But Australians know how to plan ahead for such things. A plan to build a $12 million, three-storey brothel near Sydney’s central business district is nearing approval, according to The Age. It would be Australia’s largest brothel, apparently. Larger, even, than the stock market.

Prostitution was legalised in New South Wales in 1995. Investigations showed that illegal prostitution led to a ‘nexus’ between crime lords and police corruption. It also probably led to higher prices. The government is pleased to set aside moral reservations about private behaviour when there is tax money to collect.

And to be sure, an experience at the ‘Stiletto’ brothel will not be cheap! The ‘Presidential Suite’ requires a minimum four-hour booking at the price of $1480 (almost enough to buy an ounce of gold!). The ‘Suite’ includes a Swarovski crystal wall, a pool table, two plasma screen televisions, and can accommodate 16 people, or just over 20% of the Australian Senate.

Perhaps the government in Canberra should send someone to investigate the economics of moving the Parliament to Parramatta Road in Sydney. Or perhaps it already has! Running the government from the grounds of a brothel might be cheaper. And in the event, the professions are not dissimilar. Everyone at the party mucks around while the taxpayer gets screwed.

But fear not, dear reader. Life goes on. And we’ll always have Paris. More from there next week.


Dan Denning

for Markets and Money

From the Archives…

Investing in Gold as World Economies Falter

2012-05-25 – Eric Fry

A Hard Dose of Medicine for the Greek Economy

2012-05-24 – Greg Canavan

Why Sooner or Later in Europe Someone Will Have to Pay

2012-05-23 – Dan Denning

To the Class of 2012

2012-05-22 – Bill Bonner

The Early Stages of a European Bank Run

2012-04-21 – Dan Denning

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.

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