I just posted a criticism of The World’s support of Bush’s new NASA projects here.
Three posts down, I had already expressed my opposition to tax-funded space projects and there’s more detail in the comments to that post.
I’m not utopian. I realize that we’re not living in a world that’s ready for private property respecting anarchy, or even a libertarian night-watchman state. But, that doesn’t mean that we should support the movement in the wrong direction; and that’s what I think an expanded government space program is.
I even recognize gray areas where there might be some role for the government to promote public goods or to reduce “public bads”, but space programs seem to fall well outside these areas. There is no reason that private initiatives can’t provide us with the goods that space research and development will produce. Basic research can be funded privately, technical challenges can be met by voluntarily funding creative challenges like this
one. Profits can be made by providing tourism and entertainment to willing customers.
I love the idea of people exploring and developing outer space. But, I think it’s wrong to force others who are unwilling to pay for it, and to crowd out opportunities for those willing to pursue them privately.