# Freemarket Capitalism: SpaceX rocket launch – and landing

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Michael, Dec 24, 2015.

1. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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Exactly what ARE Government subsidies? The government ONLY acts to redistribute other people's wealth. So, yes, at this time the ONLY way to fund large project in a State organized as our is, is to rely on the biggest Mafia Don in the room. But, make no mistake, this isn't helping YOU much. You're just one of the millions of people being stolen from and most of that money does't result in successful project like this one. Most of it is simply squandered. I've personally seen hundreds of millions squandered with nothing to show for it. Interestingly, the 'experts' doing the most squandering, they don't think of themselves as public 'servants'. They're the 'expert' you are the pleb. You pay for them. This is the natural order.

So, you can wave your flag for a higher tax bill all you like, most of it is squandered. And this results in your having a materially less enriched existence. Instead of having Martian Colonies, ones you could travel to, you can instead be happy with a rocket launch making a return landing. But, hey, a small price to pay for superstition.

Luckily, we have a lot more oil to burn and planet to kill off, so we can afford to Magic Think for many decades to come.

3. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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I was pulling into a parking space at a Japanese supermarket the other day and I thought about this. One thing you may, or may not, notice in Japan - is that almost ALL cars back into parking places. Why? Because it's polite. Because backing out of a parking place is more likely to result in hitting someone than pulling out forward. Japanese are very conscientious of those around them. Almost to a fault (or to a fault depending on your POV).

There's no 'regulation' or rule to do this. Japanese just do it. They do it because they have a monoculture. Think about how much LESS efficient it would be to enforce a law that says: Everyone must back into their parking spaces. How much money would that cost? How many resources would have to be diverted to achieve this goal? How would all of these changes affect the way people behave in society? Would someone call the police if you pulled into a parking place? Is the threat of going to jail better than social displeasure? How would that change the behavior and thoughts of everyone in society?

This is an example of the FREE MARKET at work. It's an example of society, which is private, at work. What is NOT an example of society, is writing a law to enforce behavior. That's instead anti-social. It's a return to might makes right, the Law of the Jungle. You will do as I wish, or I punch you in the nose. As a matter of fact, in Japan, they don't WANT those sorts of laws because those sorts of laws UNDERMINE the very concept of 'Society'. Which is important to Japanese and why they don't want a lot of immigration. Some immigration (I'm here), but not too much.

This is what we have done to our society. Read about how the Red Cross turned down aid from the government (not now, but 100 years ago). It was for these reasons, they didn't want to change the way Americans think about donating time and resources to Red Cross - which is the point. Not the money. The money is a means. The point is the behavior.

I imagine America was relatively more monocultureal then.

Using the State's threat of violence to change behavior does much more than just change that particular behavior. Not only is it inefficient, it's also likely to have a lot of unintended consequences. Hence the expression: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Think about the Drug Laws. Hard to believe now, but these were enacted to HELP people make the right choice (by removing that choice). End result? A huge industrial prison complex housing the largest population of humans (many beaten and raped) in all of human history. Sadly, many of those people were self-medicating due to a childhood of violence, molestation or neglect.

The Drug War is perverse at so many levels.

Yeah, Elon Musk lives in our world. The ONLY way to reach his goals of colonizing Mars, is to some extent, to turn to government violence to redistribute money from others, to him.

This isn't to say in a different world, there'd not have been people who wanted to go into space, and when people want something, there's opportunity for profit. Unfortunately, the private social institutions that could have met these needs simply do not exist in this world, now anyway. They just never materialized. Why? Because ever since the Government started using laws to alter behaviors for the Good of Society, it has altered billions of other behaviors, these have altered trillions of thoughts and subsequent behaviors. Thus, those private institutions never came into existence - and for a long time, they won't. All the great ideas that could have been had about space exploration, were never thought. Our behaviors were similarly different. Thus, instead we have trillions and trillions of dollars diverted into a phony never ending war, as opposed to efficiently building human colonies in space, perhaps even on Mars.

By all indications, I expect things to get worse - we're getting a lot more State violence, and a lot less personal privacy together with the loss of civil liberties. Behaviors will change - are changing. Ideas on how to achieve social good without resorting to violence will never materialize. All the social institutions that could have been, will not be. This is the way its going to be. I know that. But, with that, come other opportunities - particularly if you want to offer goods and services that compete against government run monopolies, like pedagogues. In a sense, this is the lesson to learn from Musk.

So, for now, enjoy your rock hammer.
It works well at breaking things at least.

Last edited: Jan 4, 2016

5. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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I love how you squirm to justify your ridiculous premise when confronted with reality.

7. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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22,882

Well here is the thing Michael, you are obfuscating as is your custom. The fact is private industry is very dependent upon US government research.
Over the years. Below is an article from the Harvard Business Review.

U.S. taxpayers have been very good to Apple.

Many of the revolutionary technologies that make the iPhone and other products and services “smart” were funded by the U.S. government. Take, for instance, the Internet, GPS, touchscreen display, as well as the latest voice-activated personal assistant, Siri. And Apple did not just benefit from government-funded research activities. It also received its early stage finance from the U.S. government’s Small Business Investment Company program. Venture capitalists entered only after government funding had gotten the company to the critical proof of concept.

Other Silicon Valley companies, like Google, have profited in a similarly immense fashion: Google’s algorithm was funded by the National Science Foundation. Many of the “new economy” companies that like to portray themselves as the heart of U.S. “entrepreneurship” have very successfully surfed the wave of U.S. government-funded investments. Hence, one secret to Silicon Valley’s success has been its active and visible hand, in stark contrast to the Ayn Rand/Adam Smith folklore often bandied about.

This also stands in stark contrast to the steps that Apple, Google, and other technology companies take to avoid paying taxes. Apple set up a subsidiary in Reno, Nevada, a state without a corporate income or capital gains tax, and channeled a portion of its U.S. sales there, reportedly saving 2.5 billion in taxes. And Apple and Google have both made use of a convoluted tax structure known as the Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich to avoid paying taxes on overseas earnings. Google chairman Eric Schmidt is reportedly “very proud” of this. “It’s called capitalism,” he said last year. Yet it’s a capitalism impossible to conceive of without the U.S. government, which through DARPA and other initiatives stands out worldwide for its astoundingly positive track record in funding true innovation. This includes the government’s most recent claim to fame, its steadfast financial support of (controversial) shale gas and fracking technologies, begun over three decades ago during the otherwise much-maligned Carter Administration. Indeed, as the clean-tech sector demonstrates, the venture capital industry is proving itself more risk-averse than U.S. government agencies. The latter are the ones funding the capital-intensive and highest-risk projects. Even development banks in emerging economies, like China and Brazil, are doing more than Silicon Valley-type “entrepreneurs.” In a business context, the U.S. government is often portrayed as providing a safeguard against market failure. But that traditional understanding must be widened to include the active and often catalytic role which the U.S. government’s risky investments have had for technology-based corporations. Elsewhere, I have called this role, which entails creating and shaping markets more than “fixing” them, “the entrepreneurial state.” These technology activities do require a vision, a mission and a plan — and lots of money spent from upstream research to downstream commercialization. It is not by accident that the National Institutes of Health spends31 billion a year on supporting innovation in biotechnology and pharmacology. Academic predilections and conventions notwithstanding, such an investment can hardly be considered as just “nudging” a sector.

A crucial question to be answered is not just whether the present system is geared toward the government showing a lot of the entrepreneurial courage, but why it is systematically badmouthed, despite its many successes.

An even bigger question for the American taxpayer is whether such support leads to a “parasitic” innovation eco-system. Consider Apple. Despite benefitting directly from taxpayer-funded technologies, it has strategically “underfunded” the tax purse on which it has in the past directly depended.

What to do to make the field of technology funding less parasitic? Closing tax loopholes would help, but part of the solution must entail the government getting a reward for the high-risk areas it funds directly. Wherever technological breakthroughs have occurred as a result of targeted public sector interventions, there is potential for the government, over time, to reap some of the financial windfall. This can occur through retaining a “golden share” of the royalties from patents, retaining a portion of equity, or also administering so-called income-contingent loans, similar to those now offered to students.

Clearly, the role of government is not to run commercial enterprises, but to spark innovation in strategic areas. But given ever-tighter public budgets, unless an innovation fund can be regularly replenished with some returns from the successes, innovation itself is under threat.

Government should never have an exclusive license or hold a large enough portion of the value of an innovation so that its commercial use would be deterred in any form or fashion. But at the same time, it is self-defeating even for private-sector innovation if private firms are the only ones to gain all the reward. Indeed, the same criticism made about banks — socialization of risk, privatization of reward — holds for the innovation economy.

If the United States wants to continue on the successful arc as a leading technology nation providing a good quality of life to all its citizens, then it must urgently redress the current grave imbalance in the risk-reward ratio governing the technology sector.

https://hbr.org/2013/03/taxpayers-helped-apple-but-app

The fact is US government investment in basic research is largely responsible for all of the technical advancements of the last century, from the computers we use, and the internet upon which we communicate, and the GPS used in our cars, to the drugs we use to cure disease and extend lives is due to government investment. The fact is, if there were no government intervention, the most valuable company in the world today, Apple Computer would not exist. It's one of the many facts you like and need to ignore in order to promulgate your political ideology.

Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
8. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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You can post a very large number of falsehoods, like that one, of that form. You can also post a very large number of truths. So?

There is no "form" of argument that can provide you with guaranteed true or false statements. Only fact checking can do that. What you are screwing up is the facts, not the forms.
No, you aren't.

I wasn't "arguing" at all, in the first place - I was pointing out that your claims of physical and historical fact there were false, and not for the first time. All your postings here of historical or political circumstance have been riddled with falsehoods. Easily debunked falsehoods.

In the second place I could have, as you have seen in the past, argued from probability and game theory, economic theory, physics, historical time lines and sequences of event, biology, and so forth, to support a thesis that without serious and effective governmental organization and support nothing like a human program of space exploration can come into existence. But I didn't. I just said it. To remind you, not argue with you. You keep forgetting the elementary facts of economics - there's a reason it's called the "dismal science", and puncturing the bubbleworlds of utopians is an aspect of that reason.

Of course this venture by Elon Musk is piggybacking on massive governmental support of many kinds. It cannot be otherwise. It's still worth doing. Such opportunities are a legitimate and intended benefit of government. Why not celebrate them?

Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
9. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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Of course this venture by Elon Musk is piggybacking (not sure what you mean by this) on massive use of violence against innocence people (governmental) support of many kinds. It cannot be otherwise (it most certainly can be otherwise - unless you have all knowledge of all future possibilities). It's still worth doing (no it's not). Such opportunities are a legitimate (so was Slavery and the same arguments were made in its favor) and intended benefit of government (so did Slavery, so what?). Why not celebrate them (because using violence against innocent people is immoral and should be reduced - preferably stopped altogether)?

--o--
Yeah, I get it, you like your rock-hammer. Well, no one is taking it away. You'll have an even bigger one as the decades pass, and your children's children will have a lower standard of living and less opportunity. They'll live in a society where the Government constantly spies on them and they'll be required to obtain Government permission slips to perform even the menial of labor. If they attend a Government School, they'll probably graduate barely able to read and write (if they fall into the 20%). If they are admitted into a Government Hospital, medical error will probably kill them (#2 reason Americans die). And they'll ONLY KNOW of war. They be born during war, they'll hear of it Terrorism week, maybe they'll fight in it when they can't find work. They'll die only knowing a life in a Governmental ruled society and of never ending war.

That's the reality for many Millennials.

So, enjoy your rock. Others of us will be working on better tools. We don't need a rock, but we understand you do. We're not taking away your rock iceaura. You can keep it. Go threaten to bash someone with it if they don't do what you want them to. Maybe that makes you feel better? It seems to be the only way you think anything of good can come of social interactions.

10. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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Like I said, my personal philosophy is to raise children peacefully and to think reasonably (using deductive logic and inductive evidence based inquiry, inferential and Bayesian statistics). Model peaceful and appropriate behaviors. Never yell or hit, always model dialogue and discussion. Use neuroscience to learn about human development and alter my views based on the neuroscience / data as it becomes available.

My position on Government being immoral is not my argument. Ever since the State killed Socrates for attempting to get the Athenian youth to question Government, philosophers have talked about the evil (sometimes referred to as a necessary evil) of Government. Which is why our Constitution attempted to LIMIT the role of Government / evil. Kant is the one who proposed the four types of Government. There's no argument here - Government IS immoral, by definition. Thus, a reasonable approach is to LIMIT and reduce immorality in society / Government, IF you want to live in a moral society. See, that's sort of how it works.

11. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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At one time almost all of US agriculture was dependent on Government enforced Slavery. What's your point? Yes, maybe there wouldn't be an Apple Inc. But guess what? Maybe there'd be something much better. It's certainly true that since ending Slavery, we have an abundance of food.

Here, argument by analogy:
Apple is a direct benefactor of Government Schooling. Why? Because all of the engineers who work at Apple attended a Government School. Yet, we know Government schools graduate functional illiterates at a rate of 20%. In short, they suck. Looking at Apple and trying to make the case Government Schooling is good is NOT a reasonable argument. And it is NOT true that without Government Schooling there'd be no Schooling and no Engineers because we had both prior to Government screwing up the School system.

12. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Oh, and when was that? And what kind of government enforced slavery was that? Are you referring to the fact that slavery was once legal in this country. If so that's kind of a selective view of history. Southern slavery wasn't most of the nation's agriculture. Slavery was mostly used by Southern cotton and tobacco producers. But that's not what we are talking about her.

We are talking about government investment in private industry and basic research. As pointed out to you, without government funding, there would be no Apple. Government funded and developed the technology and funded the company before venture capitalists even entered the picture.

How do you know something better would have replaced Apple? What magic would you use to create something better and would would something better be exactly? The bottom line is you making shit up again Michael.

Oh, what reasoning? Facts are facts Michael. I just pointed out to you, government has and does fund successful businesses. There is nothing fallacious about the Harvard Business Review article I referenced.

I think you need to reread my prior post and the Harvard Business Review article I referenced. It had nothing to do with government educated individuals. You are using one of dem dar fallacious arguments Michael. It's called a straw man.

I said, and the Harvard Business Review article I referenced said, the government funded and developed the technology used by Apple and it provided actual funding to develop the company because venture capitalists would not invest in such an early stage company.

Now I know this is difficult for you, but facts are facts Michael and I'm not going to sugar coat them for you. Apple clearly proves your belief system is wrong.

13. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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We can't know. That's the point. You're using Apple as an example and this is no different than someone in the in the 1700s using Government enforced (legally enforced by Federal Marshals) Slavery as an example.

Here's another example, the King of England supported railroads. Therefor.... what conclusion do you draw Joe? Hitler supported the rocket program, therefor... what conclusion do you draw Joe?

14. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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You are not making any sense Michael. You are obfuscating again. The unpleasant reality for you Michael is that government research and funding works. That kind of debunks your Libertarian beliefs. And we can know what would have happened had government not assisted Apple. There would be no Apple.

At any time private industry could have developed the technologies and provided funding, but it didn't. Because it was too risky.

Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
15. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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Slavery 'works' Joe, just not as good as free markets. North Korean collective farms 'work' Joe. They're just not that great at producing food. Government Schools 'work' Joe, but have a functional illiteracy graduation rate of 20% (and climbing). Beating your kid probably works well at modifying an unwanted behavior, it also causes a lot of other problems down the line.

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe we'd have something much better. What is true, is we'd live in a totally different society. One that never started the Korean or Vietnam wars. One that never developed Generational Welfare Ghettos. One where Rx monopoly had never occurred and the Drug War was never started. We'd never have had the Prison Industrial Complex or the Millitary Industrial Complex. We'd never had a Central Bank bailing out criminal bankers.

Yes, life would be different. It might not have included Apple. Probably something far more superior. Oh well, enjoy your rock hammer Joe.

16. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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That's all nonsense Michael and you k now it. Government I vestments in science technology and start up businesses isn't slavery nor is it North Korean collective farming.

17. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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Nice counterargument Joe.

Here's mine: LOL

18. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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No, it can't. Your ignorance does not create possibilities by magic. You have physics and math and economics and so forth to consider, both theory and circumstance denying you your utopia.
Well, you said it was. You started this whole thread to say this venture was worthwhile. Personally, I think it is too. I don't think this Musk venture in private market launching of space rockets should be discouraged merely because it requires government infrastructure and the employment of government developed resources etc.
No, it wasn't. The plantation slavery of the Confederacy was free market capitalism, and at no time was "almost all" of US agriculture.
As we did before ending slavery - from farms and markets much more heavily supported by government than the corporate capitalist slave plantations ever needed to be.

They were producing high profit cash crops for export markets, making big money in cotton and tobacco and the like. Some specialty and exportable foodstuffs (such as rice) for sale, but most food production on the US slave plantations was for internal consumption - the profit margins were too low.

Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
19. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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Oh, that's right. You have a crystal ball that can see all possible reality. And in it IS possible for private citizens to invent automobiles, electricity and airplanes, but not a rocket.

LOL

I'm sure to farmer in the 1700s, reliant on Slavery to pick his cotton, the idea machines, running off dinosaur juice, guided my satellites in space would seem just as magical to him as the concept of *GASP* private money funding a rocket ship (even though private individuals are already able to launch small rockets into space) sounds to you. We have a term for it: normality bias. There's no law of physics that suggests it's impossible to send humans into space without relying on the use of violence against INNOCENT people. However, what we do know is you cannot tell me how much my coffee cup is worth. That's impossible knowledge for you. Speaking of which, you may want to ask yourself why Communist countries, where the Government funds ALL activities, not just trips to space, fail to produce material wealth for most people. Answer that question, and you'll begin to understand why you are wrong.

Oh, and utopia was your term, not mine. I never claimed we'd live in a utopia. So take your strawman elsewhere.

Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
20. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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Firstly, we don't know IF the money was well spent. How many children's deaths would be worth this trip to space for you? Maybe it didn't cost as single child's life. Or, perhaps it costs thousands and thousands - or millions (see: War in Iraq). See, when one group of people take resources from another group of INNOCENT people by force, all sorts of unknown negative consequences occur. Oh, sure, we get a rocket into space. But we also get 20% functional illiteracy rates. We also get the largest non-violent populations of humans in prison in human history. We also get the largest polluter in human history. We also get the largest waster of limited energy in history. We also get TRILLION dollar phony never ending wars.

So, again, how many children's lives would this very very dirty, inefficient, immoral means of redistributing resources be worth to to you to maintain your superstitious believe in the State?

Government is rock-hammer, it's time of usefulness is rapidly coming to a close. Minus the Apocalypse, the use of Government-hammers will probably not last another century.

21. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Well how about making some sense Michael? You often misuse words in your demagogic rants. Care to try again? Below is a link to my previous posts.

The unfortunate fact for you is your beliefs are just not consistent with known facts. The successes of many government investments in new technologies and funding early stage companies like Apple, now the world's most valuable company, clearly debunks your ideological beliefs. That's the unpleasant fact for you you. It isn't slavery or reminiscent of North Korean labor camps as you have alleged.

Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
22. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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How many children would die or continue to suffer abuse without the existence of government agencies like the CDC? (millions)

23. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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I have a faculty of reason that can identify some impossibility.
In the US, and a few other places similarly governed, not only the invention but the manufacture and use of these things is indeed possible. Do you understand why the "in the US" part was important?
That's why I merely presented it as my personal and contingent "think", and why I pointed out that the question of whether or not human space flight itself was a good idea is an open one, for another thread. If it turns out that a government space program is a bad idea overall, for some reason, then Musk's dependence on government space programs also renders his project a bad idea. So?
There are laws of economics, physics, mathematics, and biology, that say it's impossible to send humans into space without organizing and employing a government of some kind to create the necessary infrastructure of various kinds. That includes taxation, etc, - all the horrors.