Comment: one thing to understand (strange that you haven't)

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one thing to understand (strange that you haven't)

is that government doesn't always do things wrong.. at the height of a technology build-up, sometimes the government can lead-sponsor an obvious project with not so much difficulty in skills to micro-manage, such as 'landing on the moon', certainly not as difficult and ambiguous as 'finding the next most efficient energy source', and much more productive than spearheading a project to give welfare benefit to drug addicts. but the point is 9 out of 10 projects spearheaded by the government will be about handing welfare and subsidies to useless causes, and their excuses will be of things like these, their rare broken clock twice-a-day functioning stories.

while this may have some small advantage for the human race in the long run--much overshadowed by the harm enormously done by government policy ambiguities on the economic front that clouds innovation on all other sectors simultaneously--i see this as mostly PR stunt in a sense to justify the other 9 out of 10 useless spendings by the government. now proponents of welfare subsidies and bailouts can say "look, the government does do things right. just look at the space program". people should be careful cheering for these things.

we've had a series of booms and busts in the economy since the 80s soon after the space program, 80s crash post-vietnam inflation, 90s nasdaq bubble, 2000s greenspan housing bubble, thanks to the government. you're not gonna get much private aerospace R&D out of that. NASA is immune, of course.