Space

Billionaires Spending Their Own Money To Go to Space Has Progressives Howling for a Wealth Tax

Private space companies' efforts are a boost to the government's own space programs, in addition to being objectively cool.

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The idea of billionaires launching themselves into space on their own rockets has provoked apoplexy from some progressives, who view the spectacle as an ostentatious display of economic inequality that must be fixed with a wealth tax.

Witness the response to Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson's successful journey to the edge of space yesterday on his company's Unity spaceship.

The flight—which carried Branson and five other crew members more than 50 miles above the Earth's surface—represents an important milestone for the nascent private space tourism industry. But several commentators were only concerned with what the British billionaire's money could have funded instead.

On Twitter, Mother Jones' Clara Jeffery declared it an "advertisement for a wealth tax":

Journalist Teddy Schleifer said on CNN that the press should cool its jets when covering billionaires' space travels, saying that "it's impossible to talk about the billionaire's success without talking about the system that creates this in the first place."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) struck a familiar dyspeptic note:

Rep. Ro Khanna (D–Calif.) asked, a few days before Branson's launch, whether that money could be spent on health care and education rather than "space travel fantasies."

Khanna doesn't see such a stark trade-off with the government's own resources, given his co-sponsorship of the "Endless Frontiers Act," the initial version of which would have given $100 billion to the National Science Foundation to research such sci-fi ideas as artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Surely that money could be spent on health care too? And Khanna is a member of Congress' "NASA Caucus," so he isn't objecting to spending money on space exploration per se.

In any case, billionaire-backed space companies—which includes not just Branson's Virgin Galactic but also Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX—can help to eliminate wasteful space spending. That's certainly the case with SpaceX. Back in May 2020, the company's Crew Dragon vehicle ferried NASA astronauts to the International Space Station from American soil for the first time since 2011, when the accident-prone Space Shuttle was retired.

To develop and launch Crew Dragon, SpaceX received a $2.6 billion contract from NASA through the agency's Commercial Crew Program. In comparison, the Constellation program run directly by NASA—which had a similar goal of developing a launch system for putting astronauts in low-earth orbit—was estimated to cost closer to $34.5 billion.

SpaceX was "effectively doing what the Constellation Program was doing with about the same amount of money, total, that they were burning in a single month," NASA engineer Mike Horkachuck told ArsTechnica's Eric Berger.

In time, the competition between these various private ventures will put yet more downward pressure on prices while spurring the development of new, better space technology—helping the government's space efforts as well as the private sector's.

Even if you aren't convinced of the value of space travel, given that we've yet to reach a utopia free of poverty, disease, and war here on Earth, there's something to be said for a private space industry soaking up the legions of engineers and other aerospace professionals who might otherwise be spending their careers designing faster-flying missiles for traditional military contractors.

The private space industry has problems from a libertarian perspective too. SpaceX and Blue Origin are primarily in the business of competing for government contracts. New Mexico taxpayers shelled out $220 million to fund Virgin Galactic's desert launch facility.

Yet even a rigid ideologue like Ayn Rand was able to see some good in government-funded space travel. "Nothing on earth or beyond it is closed to the power of man's reason," she wrote of the Moon landing. "This is the fundamental lesson to be learned from the triumph of Apollo 11."

Her criticism of space flight's detractors also rings only truer today. Their attitude, she wrote, "penalizes the good for being good, and success for being success."

NEXT: Cubans Cry for ‘Freedom’

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  1. Nothing done on an individual basis is good to a fascist.

    1. Individualism is fine as long as you do it the way the government tells you to.

      1. I’d say most people are fine with individualism as long as other people don’t try it.

        1. Individualism is OK so long as…

          ‘A) You do NOT engage in any thoughts or behaviors labeled (by Government Almighty) as being “bad”, and…

          ‘B) You DO engage in ALL thoughts AND behaviors labeled (by Government Almighty) as being “GOOD”!

          So you’d better be GOOD, for goodness’s sake!

          1. The ship is called “unity”.

            So it’s all good.

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      2. Too much focus on government. Read the Twitter comments. People there are worse. They are hair trigger ready to start public executions of “the wealthy”. The French Revolution II.

        It’s actually getting scary now.

        1. Where do you think government comes from?

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      4. Yep, I have no doubt that if Branson, Musk,or Bezos had flown a non-binary bipoc person into space, the progs would be jizzing themselves

      5. Individualism is fine as long as it is Individualism.

        All this story amounts to is a bunch of Welfare Queens scrapping in the Department of Heath and Human Services parking lot over an EBT card.

        1. That’s “Department of Health and Human Services.” I hope we aren’t subsidizing English Toffee Bars too!

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        1. Your spending habits will undo your success.

    2. Progressives how,king for a wealth tax has me howling to get rid of the progressives.

      1. A wealth tax is simply good policy.

        We tax labor > capital gains > wealth. Should be the other way around.

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  2. Of course they would since they don’t actually produce a goddamn thing but take up valuable resources (namely oxygen) from the planet. Bezos is an evil motherfucker, but I’ll defend his right to try and put humans in space over moronic fucktards/shysters like Bernie Sanders

    1. I’d donate some to send Bernie to space, but not to come back.

      1. I look forward to the first episode of “Progs in Space”

        1. With life support handled by a BIPOC LBGQ etc. person who majored in Critical Race Theory rather than engineering or math.

      2. The Wrath of Khamm-ie

        1. I was thinking more of the Muppets “Pigs in Space”.

          1. Kermit the prog?

      3. Just pack them in shipping containers and drop all the progressives off in Antarctica. If they fight it……. Well, that’s what all those landfills are for, putrid garbage.

      4. Funny, you should mention that. The low-price store Five Below actually has a poster of Bernie Sanders in orbit around the Earth, with his mitten-wearing arms crossed and his COVID-19 mask on, no doubt nattering and yammering his Socialist platitudes into the void. 🙂

      5. Like Uncle Augusto’s Deep Ocean Helicopter Tour Company?

        I mean, as fun as the thought of that is, it’s a lot cheaper if they just happen to catch on fire.

        They need to be encouraged to protest the next launch from directly under the rocket!

    2. Bernie Sanders can try being in all his houses at the same time, or better yet, put homeless people in all but one of them. Then he can preach about taxing the wealthy.
      F*cking hypocrite

  3. To be fair, it’s not just that progressives hate the idea of billionaires spending their money as they see fit, they hate the idea of billionaires having the money in the first place. They don’t give a shit if you just piled up the money and burned it, as long as the billionaires don’t have the money, that’s good enough for them.

    1. See, this is it right here. Leftists claim that if you take billionaires’ money and redistribute it, everything will be hunky dory. Yet, when it comes to actually managing the spending of money, leftists (or really anyone in government) don’t care.

      At the end of the day any argument I have with a leftist about billionaires boils down to their jealousy that someone has so much when they don’t. So often it just turns out to be a petty, selfish position rather than caring about other people in the country.

      1. I guess they’re going to eat Jack Dorsey last.

        1. They’d have to shave him down before they’d throw him in the pot.

      2. “…So often it just turns out to be a petty, selfish position rather than caring about other people in the country.”

        The politics of envy

      3. Just look at anything Tony writes. He’s the perfect example. He feigns empathy for others, but it’s really about taking form others and controlling everyone.

        1. Don’t see much of that bitch any more since the mute button appeared; not getting the volume of responses he craved. I think it is a form of masochism.

    2. Yep.

      But, be careful or, you’ll sound just like these proggies. They fail to realize that these billionaires are only that on paper. Holding AZ stock for instance, does come with quite a bit of risk. It’s not cash in the bank. A fact that is lost on the progs who are so easily manipulated by their masters. It’s just Brave New World Two Minutes of Hate.

      1. Progs have zero,understanding of the economy, and rarely grasp how finance works.

    3. Jealousy is a very ugly emotion.

      -jcr

  4. Insert any major/minor/imaginary issue Billionaires Spending Their Own Money To Go to Space Has Progressives Howling For a Wealth Tax

  5. They’ve built the rockets through government subsidies, not their own/investors money.

    1. Yes for 31.9 billion less then the government doing it directly in the case of Space X (although I wouldn’t doubt if that number wasn’t a little lower).

      1. Unless the government was spending 31.9 billion to put rockets in space and private investors spent 31.9 billion dollars less, it’s still a valid point of contention between leftists and libertarians that the government shouldn’t be handing them money.

        1. Not quite following. If the option is govt spending $63.8 billion or $31.9 through subsidies for the same thing, the $31.9 should win out from the libertarian side. Now govt having $0.00 to spend on this would be best but back in the real world the money was stolen and will be spent somehow so less would seem preferable.

          1. The government can never spend $0 and libertarians should just be happy with it spending less $$ than it could potentially spend. Libertarianism FTW!

        2. Except that all the government can do is spend the money without producing jack shit.

          1. Well, the progs would vehemently disagree. And reference the Apollo programs and the like.

            Hey, lets put Biden into space on a NASA flight. That’s the ticket! He can show us all what the government is capable of and be willing to stake his life on it as these two billionaires just did.

      2. It is worth noting that some of the money the government spend was for research that probably helped Musk, Branson, and Bezos. That said I do think that private programs can advance the goals at less expense. The general rule is that government pays for the big upfront research that has a low payoff and then businesses apply that to make useful products. My point being that each part is necessary.

        1. “…The general rule is that government pays for the big upfront research that has a low payoff and then businesses apply that to make useful products. My point being that each part is necessary.”

          My point is fuck off, slaver.

          1. I second the motion and say “Fuck off, Space-Slaver!”

            In space, no one can hear the whips crack!

        2. In other words, “You didn’t build that.”

          And I third “fuck off slaver.”

      3. #Libertarians4SocialismLiteAndCorporatismLite

    2. “They’ve built the rockets through government subsidies,”

      This is true to SOME extent, but it is important to delineate between “subsidies” and “payments for services rendered”.

      If the government pays $16 Million for pens, is that a subsidy for BIC? Not really. SpaceX was specifically paid for a service- commercial delivery of government supply and manned missions into orbit. They are delivering on that.

      I don’t want to gloss over the fact that this market is very inefficient. By the logic above, there is a thin line between the government paying billions to SpaceX to develop a super efficient launch capability and spending billions for ULA to build that money burning atrocity, the Space Launch System.

      The point is, these aren’t subsidies. The government is paying for goods and services. In the case of ULA, the payment mechanism is fraught with crony-induced inefficiency and grift. In the case of SpaceX, there is far more competition and thus the purchase is far more agreeable in libertarian terms.

      1. “The point is, these aren’t subsidies.”

        I should clarify, much of this is not subsidies, but payments for services rendered. SpaceX *has* definitely benefited from some subsidies.

        1. SpaceX is WAAAAY better than more-Government-Almighty-driven alternatives!!!

          Here’s some GOOD news! Senator Shelby has been a REAL asshole about wasting money on the SLS, as those of us who follow space developments closely, know. He’s retiring! Good riddance!
          https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/02/so-long-senator-shelby-key-architect-of-sls-rocket-wont-seek-reelection/
          So long Senator Shelby: Key architect of SLS rocket won’t seek reelection
          Shelby said NASA’s exploration of space will “always” go through Alabama.

        2. Government Almighty boondoggle…
          NASA will pay a staggering $146 million for each SLS rocket engine
          The rocket needs four engines and it is expendable.
          https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/05/nasa-will-pay-a-staggering-146-million-for-each-sls-rocket-engine/

        3. Here’s another one, about political suppression of promising space tech, for political reasons, which is even worse than the inefficient per-state spreading of jobs goodies…
          Below shows we are FINALLY moving in the right direction, at least…
          https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/07/nasa-agrees-to-work-with-spacex-on-orbital-refueling-technology/
          NASA agrees to work with SpaceX on orbital refueling technology
          Out-take from there is below…
          The rocket program mostly benefited the Alabama space center and was championed by Alabama State Senator Richard Shelby. The potential of in-space fuel storage and transfer threatened the SLS rocket because it would allow NASA to do some exploration missions with smaller and cheaper rockets. As one source explained at the time, “Senator Shelby called NASA and said if he hears one more word about propellant depots he’s going to cancel the Space Technology program.”

          1. What! Shelby is retiring? He hasn’t been dead that long, what’s his hurry?

            1. In February 2021, Shelby announced that he would not seek re-election in 2022.

              Richard Shelby – Wikipedia 87 years old, that old fart! What did I see, 6 terms? Holy shit, WHEN can one say that one has had ENOUGH of political power?! Seems to me, if political power could make us all perfect forever, it would have been done a LOOOOONG time ago!

          2. Yes, SLS is a boondoggle, and it is insane to see how distortive the legislative appropriations process has become.

        4. Well, is EBT payment for Big Ag services rendered too? Is Section 8 payment for construction and apartment management services rendered? Are student loans payment for banking services rendered? Is Medicare/Medicaid payment for medical services rendered?

          At some point, somebody has to be the bad guy who says: “Get off the Government Crack, straighten up, fly right, or die!”

  6. Do the progressives think that when resources are used in a pursuit like this, that they simply disappear – vanish – never to be used again?

    The engineers on this project are going to be upset when they find out that the dollars in their paychecks were destroyed upon use. Same for their vendors and contractors and suppliers. Shame.

    1. Yes. That is certainly what’s going on in their heads.

      1. But, but, but, we could have used those dollars to end homelessness. Don’t you see?

        1. All the other billions of dollars that have been spent to end homelessness were just the wrong dollars. These dollars would definitely have gotten the job done.

    2. No, but only when NASA with the help of Boeing/Lockhead Martin do it. No one knows the names of the billionaires behind those ventures so it doesn’t count.

    3. I’m not defending the progressive view, but some aren’t coming from that angle. Their view is that this is not the way to allocate scarce resources.

      1. Right- many of these people believe that Space is an unworthy goal when that money could be spent alleviating homelessness. This is because they are economically illiterate. They think in zero sums. They think that if SpaceX’s engineers hadn’t combined to generate billions of dollars of wealth to create a super efficient lift system, they would have instead created billions of dollars in homelessness amelioration.

        1. Billions of other people’s money could have been a lot of Obamaphones and CRT children’s books. Even a few plugin cars for the most zealous.

    4. “Do the progressives think that when resources are used in a pursuit like this, that they simply disappear – vanish – never to be used again?”

      Proggies, being primarily after power, resent that not every billionaire always kowtows to them. They have perfected repeatedly convincing low-info, low-to-mid wealthy voters that they are helping people who need help. It is the second oldest trick in the book. The 1930’s exhibited this behavior, in spades, concerning the West and the USSR, the latter of which could do no wrong.

  7. Pay for your own food, shelter, medical expenses and kid’s education. How difficult is that?

    1. Pay for your own medical expenses is fine and dandy, just AS LONG AS we are still protected (by Government Almighty) from the unauthorized (NOT properly authorized by a degreed, licensed, credentialed, board-certified Doctor of Deeply Learned Doctorology) use of DEADLY medical devices of potential death and destruction! For example, potentially deadly cheap plastic “lung flutes”… Do NOT blow upon these in an unauthorized manner!!!

      To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

      1. Sounds like the parishioners of the church of squirrel gave the leader a squirrel necklace.

    2. More than they can handle obviously.

  8. Meanwhile, both Amazon and SpaceX are launching constellations of satellites to solve the rural broadband problem–at no expense to the taxpayer whatsoever.

    1. “No expense to the taxpayer whatsoever”

      Other than their data and personal lives.

      1. Can yee nay distinguish between taxes stolen by governments and paying for a service developed by private enterprise?

      2. To whatever extent merely using the internet compromises your data and personal life, those in rural American who would rather not do so aren’t in any way being forced to do so by way of Amazon and SpaceX launching those satellites and offering that service. If you don’t want the service, don’t buy it.

        Meanwhile, there isn’t anything in that regard Amazon’s or SpaceX’s selling the service privately will do to your data and personal life that taxpayer funded broadband will fix. Surely, you’re not suggesting that the taxpayers should fund rural broadband because the government does a better job of protecting our privacy, are you?

        1. Can you translate that comment into English? It make no sense.

          1. “Private expansion of satellite internet is going to solve the internet broadband problem that Biden wants to throw a trillion dollars at, and at no cost to you or me. Purchasing this service comes with the exact same burdens for the end user as does a public investment, including intrusions on your privacy.”

            1. Is that what he said?

              1. Your prose is too purple for some folk.

          2. Put down that bottle of MD 20/20, and you might be able to grasp what he said.

        2. Or did thin-skinned-Ken Mute me?

          Do I want the attention of “wall-of-text-guy” or not?

          *shrug*

          1. Perhaps you can tell us all about your mute list again.

            1. I made it and just like Hihn’s list, I’m PROUD!

            2. He doesn’t have all day.

        3. you mean like the govt that let Trumps tax return info to the public?

      3. Not to mention the ongoing collectivist expansion. As long as it’s private enterprises surveilling the undesireables, debasing their economies, and herding them to camps, everything is hunky dory. After all, they did it with the voluntarily donated dollars of coastal elites.

        1. Are you sure SpaceX is doing any of those things?

          Are you saying that they shouldn’t be allowed offer internet service–despite the fact that it doesn’t cost us anything?

          Are you saying that people doing things at no expense to the taxpayer isn’t better than all of us being forced to pay for it by the government?

          How can Biden and the Democrats spending $100 billion on rural broadband be better than none of us paying for any of it?

          1. Are you sure SpaceX is doing any of those things?

            Are you saying that they shouldn’t be allowed offer internet service–despite the fact that it doesn’t cost us anything?

            Are you trying to tell me there is such a thing as a free lunch?

            How can Biden and the Democrats spending $100 billion on rural broadband be better than none of us paying for any of it?

            C’mon, Ken, this is D-level statist thinking. If people don’t pave roads, how will they get around? Fuck that noise.

            Those rural rubes must want highspeed internet so bad that SpaceX has to throw it at them for free and run. Whether they want it or not, they’re going to get it.

        2. mad.casual, did Alex Jones tell you that Elon Musk and his cronies are dropping from the skies in rockets, onto the properties of the Old Order Amish and Mennonites (who till now haven’t wired up to electrical utilities, let alone the internet), and FORCING them to install connections to SkyNet, which will then record their data, about how and when they use their outhouses, how well they treat their cows and horses, etc.?

          Alex Jones LIES; did you know that?

          1. Mennonites use electricity.

            1. SOME of them so! SOME of them (some of the “Old Order”) do not! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Order_Mennonite

            2. The Amish do a LOT of work that requires power tools these days (furniture-making for example), since they often can’t compete with modern farmers any more. They use high-pressure air for power instead… Some people call this “Amish electricity”!

              https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/a13077/how-the-amish-use-power-tools-15171374/

              Can I design a high-pressure-air-to-DC-power converter, hook it up to a TV and-or computer, and sell to the Amish, “Amish television” and “Amish computers”? I wonder? Maybe I could get rich this way!

              1. The price of land in traditional areas such as Lancaster County, PA makes it challenging for Amish to start their own farm. Land is cheap here and a group moved in a few years ago. May have seen a few gas engine hay balers but not much more than that.
                Why would they need a computer?

                1. So that Amish girls can hook up with 2 Mennonite on Tinder, of course.

                2. “Why would they need a computer?” To sell the furniture they make? https://amishamerica.com/amish-furniture-michigan/

                  Each Amish community sets its own rules, so this differs. The one I’ve lived near (Manton, MI) has electric lights and a telephone in their furniture store and uses power tools for woodworking, but I their homes. OTOH, their harness-maker – who is probably the only source of made-to-order horse harnesses in the county – has a pedal-powered sewing machine for leather and works by daylight or lamplight. I’ve ordered leather work from him and watched him make it, and I don’t think electricity would change how he works.

                  The Amish aren’t against technology, but they are against anything that would closely link their tight little communities to the secular world. So no wires to their homes, and I guess they wouldn’t accept radio equipment either. (I’m not going to tell them that the radio waves cross their boundaries whether or not they have a receiver!) They see the utility of automobiles and trade farm produce for rides from “gai” neighbors when the horse and buggy won’t do, but also recognize a danger of it becoming too easy to hop in a car and mingle with the outer world. So most communities ban the ownership of cars. (I have heard of “Automobile Amish” who follow all the usual rules except for owning a few cars or pickups.)

              2. I know at least one Amish farmer who doesn’t have a phone in his house, but he has one down at the end of his driveway where it technically sits on the right-of-way and not his property. He also is not allowed to have any electricity in his house, but his cows aren’t Amish so they’re allowed to have electricity in the barn. His cows like to watch the baseball games on their TV.

                1. For whom do the root?

                  1. The Moowaukee Brewers

                2. Do the moo-cows pay the utility bills?

                  On a more serious note, I’ve heard that some Amish in the Nineties had beepers and cellular phones (presumably charged by pedal-powered dynamos) and that some Amish were even dope dealers.

                  I’ll leave the cognitive dissonance of that all up to them.

                  It reminds me of the episode of Barney Miller where an Amish man, Caleb Weber, made his way to The Big Shitty, got mugged, and was brought into the station to file a report and he and Detective Harris had a conversation. Detective Dietrich, the man who knew everything, pointed out the Amish disavowed any technology not in The Bible:

                  Harris asked: “You can’t drive an automobile?”

                  Weber: “No automobiles in The Bible, Sir.”

                  Harris: “Or go in an airplane?”

                  Weber: “Not in The Bible.”

                  Harris: “Or movies? Or Television? Or discos? Well what can you people do?”

                  Weber: “I got 14 kids. That’s in The Bible.” 🙂

                  Weber: “

                  1. Which is bulls***. Most of Amish technology is not Biblical, but Industrial Age. To start with, their clothing is cut to fit and sewn, which was rare before cloth was made in factories, although they (and often the Mennonites) have frozen their style at the most somber early Industrial Age style. (Their claim that they wear that style because their 16th Century leaders Jakob Ammann and Menno Simons wore it is dubious.)

                    From before Biblical times through the Renaissance, most clothing was rectangles of cloth folded, draped, and pinned to fit. Thus when one part of a rectangle wore out, they could trim it and repurpose it as a smaller rectangle. Only the very rich could afford to have good cloth cut and sewn to fit their limbs, making it of little use for any other purpose. But with power spinning jennies, power looms, and sewing machines the styles of the rich became affordable for all (in plain cloth rather than gold and silver threads, etc.)

                    I expect that every Amish home has a treadle sewing machine, invented about 1850 and improved repeatedly up to about 1950, but they’ll catch a ride to Walmart to buy a bolt of cloth. An Amish harness-maker I know has a heavier version of the treadle sewing machine for stitching leather; I have no idea of where he got that, or if it’s carefully preserved over several generations from before the REA brought electric power to the farmlands.

                    The Amish plow with horse-drawn steel plows, invented in the 19th Century by John Deere, not with a wooden plow carved from the crotch of a tree. They cut their grains and hay with a horse-drawn cutting bar (quite similar to the cutter on a modern combine, but with the other operations performed separately), not with a scythe. This is a later 19th Century invention; The Little House on the Prairie books, set in the late 19th Century, describe harvests by a whole team of men using scythes in the early book Farmer Boy and by one man using a cutting bar in the later book The Long Winter. They generally build their homes with 2×4 or 2×6 framing, which only became practical with 19th Century lumber mills. It’s likely that they’ll use fiberglass-asphalt shingles and other 20th-21st Century materials where those are better or last longer than the older stuff.

                    But they have the entire community come together to erect that house – and that is the point. They seek to be a closed and isolated society dedicated to God. All technology is evaluated as to how it fits with the overriding goal of togetherness within the community and separateness without. Cars are out because they make it too easy to drive from the community to the distractions and temptations of the “Gai” (non-Amish) world – using a car when it’s really needed is NOT banned, but they trade produce for a ride from a Gai neighbor so it does not become easy. Wires into the home from the outside world are out, but they can no longer survive purely as subsistence farmers. Cash is needed for taxes, for medical treatment, and for industrial products that it is impractical to make themselves. Some of them must earn money from the outer world, either as wage-earners or (better) by selling Amish-made products, so they have telephones available for business, and perhaps make furniture with power tools and light their furniture store with electricity.

                    This evaluation of new technology is a difficult and complex decision, and they prefer to err on the side of conservatism. It’s always possible to change their mind about rejected technology, but nearly impossible to get rid of something after embracing it. That tilts them towards keeping 19th Century tech – this was 3 centuries after the founding of the movement, but until then they could keep up with the neighbors without worrying that technological advances could become a threat to their community cohesiveness. (Perhaps it changed the first time a railroad was built through the middle of a community on land seized by eminent domain?)

                    The 19th Century was also the point where technology began a rapid growth that was impossible for a farming community to follow, so there’s a practical advantage to freezing their tech just below that point. No Amish farmer will ever have to wait for a John Deere tech to come out and reset the computer that controls his tractor. (This is a real problem for farmers using the newest equipment!)

                    They aren’t monolithic; each community makes the ultimate decision for itself, so it’s easy to find incongruities. But these are different opinions on how to balance the same goals, not theological differences.

          2. mad.casual, did Alex Jones tell you that…

            Nope. I don’t think I’ve heard more than 10s of Alex Jones speaking total. I’d wager you’ve spent far more time listening to Jones than I have. Alex Jones aside, every major news outlet as well as a number of government whistleblowers and brash statists have pretty overtly admitted that every branch of the US Government from the NSA, to the FBI, to the NYPD, to the USPS will activate devices against their users’ wishes, persecute whistleblowers well beyond their borders, and openly influence what narratives can and can’t be advanced on the internet. But you needn’t worry, because they don’t actually own the devices they’re using to spy on people.

            To act like more ubiquitous internet is an unbridled good is to consciously ignore the massive amounts of idiocy and groupthink the internet generates, all the ways the internet has corroded freedom and disinformed an ‘educated public’ in the name of “progress”.

            At least it’s legal to jam the signal these satellites would generate on your own property. Oh, wait, it’s not just illegal to operate it, it’s illegal to build, buy, sell, or even advertise such equipment. More liberty for all, whether you want it or not!

      4. Those are expenses to the consumer, not to the taxpayer. Charging customers for a service is perfectly legitimate. Begging for handouts from the government is not.

      5. That’s better than our tax dollars!

    2. Which companies have the correct politics? Isn’t that what it’s all about?

      1. If they didn’t care about their customers politics it wouldn’t matter.

      2. Which companies have the correct politics?

        The ones about whose politics no one has any idea.

  9. From another article on this site just this morning:

    “We already know that many people in our fractured world disapprove of hobbies, businesses, and lifestyles enjoyed by others and would like to see them disappear. The virus, then, may just be an opportunity for those who want to rein in freedoms they find frightening. They happily applaud restrictions on liberty not because they’re necessary for public health, but because they restrict.”

    Pretty much.

  10. Bernie doesn’t even see the contradiction in his own stupid tweet

      1. my sister Nell got bit by a rat, while Whitey’s on the moon.

        I fucking love Gil. he should have lived forever.

        1. Revolution was his magnum opus, but did lots of other great stuff.

    1. Branson, and his company, are Brits, right?

      Not that our boy Bernie and his friends should confine their horrible ideas to their own fucking country.

      1. That what I am thinking. It’s so awesome that the first space billionaire is a Brit. It makes it all the more desperate that Americans politicians are bemoaning this event that they have no control over whatsoever.

        1. You have weird definitions for awesome. Being anti American seems to be your favorite pastime.

          1. I’d guess it’s “being an ignoramus”.

        2. I think it’s more awesome that the Space Billionaire Brit has his company here in America.

    2. Progressives are living contradictions.

      1. They could solve that problem in two ways…

  11. Flying to space is taking social distancing to an extreme.

  12. Only billionaires can afford Lasik eye surgery!

  13. America is not having a libertarian moment. Act accordingly.

  14. Haha yeah right if they want to tax amoral billionaires fine by me. But the left is disingenuous they tie space travel to wealth taxation, and Cuba’s freedom to DeSantis’ rioting bill, as if the cognitive dissonance isn’t startlingly bad for anyone with intelligence and rationality. So their base must be rabid, stupid, immoral, unreasonable, and an unholy mess. Proving once again IF YOU VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE.

    1. They are all those things. But, they outnumber everyone else. That should be enough to scare you.

  15. Seriously?

    https://what-if.xkcd.com/58/

    To summarize, they’re going up and back down. Like a trampoline. Orbit means going so fast you miss the planet. 17,000 mph or something. Didn’t some guy jump off a balloon recently at the edge of space? This is no different. Well, it’s more complicated and expensive. But it’s just up and down. Meh.

    1. Red Bull had some guy do a “space” parachute.

      1. that was awesome.

    2. Alan Shepard’s first spaceflight was suborbital too, so its still a milestone

      1. He did it in a lawnmower compared to today’s technology.

        1. My point being that getting into space is relatively easy. While those guys are using rubber bands to have sex, satellites are whizzing by at blistering speeds. This is little more than a stunt, the likes of which were common a century ago.

          1. Yuri Gagarin hadn’t even been born 100 years ago.

            1. And Mister Clean sold lots of soap.

              1. See him about something to clean up that post.

      2. Shepard’s was no milestone. A human had already orbited earth.

        1. It was proof the US could do it.

    3. I think this is a big deal about 10 years late. If they had been able to get to market circa 2010, they would have been able to parley this easily into more and more robust services, ultimately getting to their vision of Virgin Orbital Hotels.

      Unfortunately, Virgin Galactic was really underfunded at first, and targeting Human Spaceflight meant that they were taking on a lot of risk. The death of a test pilot pretty much killed all their momentum, and it has taken them 17 years to get a Suborbital Spaceflight Product to market, while SpaceX has an orbital product (Crew Dragon) working for the government.

      Two companies had two approaches to the market. VG wanted to target suborbital human space flight to build towards orbital. SpaceX did orbital cargo to build towards orbital human spaceflight. Hindsight says SpaceX was right. But back in 2004 when SpaceShipOne (the predecessor of VG’s Unity design) had just won the Ansari X prize, I can see why people bet on VG.

    4. I mean… yeah. It was a “technically I’ve been in space” moment because they broke the 100 mile barrier that we’ve defined as “outer space”. It’s not nearly as cool as getting to orbit.

      But I wouldn’t turn down a ride if they offered me one.

  16. I sometimes envy statists for their flexible immorality. If you start from the principle of self-ownership, it’s easy to define property as that which you made yourself, and define theft as after-the-fact slavery and slavery as theft in general. Then you don’t worry about the unfairness of people working their ass off to accumulate a lot of property, nor spending it their own way on their own hobbies.

    Then I see all these people protesting mostly peacefully, and imagine the delights of forgetting my prinicples, of just going crazy mostly peacefully, of getting all worked up and ranting about other people who owe me the fruits of their labor. I mean, these mostly peaceful protestors are working hard to, trying to stay peaceful after having worked so hard at getting worked up, and then when they joyfully give in to their animal urges, it’s hard work setting fires and looting, and how frustrating it must be to forget to loot first, burn later!

    1. Your problem is that you think. If you suspend logic, principles and all that nonsense, what was once bullshit makes total sense. It feels right. Besides, when blacks think about stuff they’re committing cultural appropriation against whites. Can’t allow that.

        1. Fine. I’ll watch it.

    2. Trump was committing cultural appropriation with his wall!

      Chinese did it first, and he started a trade war with them!

      Obviously he hates China, and I can now use this argument against anyone who disagrees with me!

      1. China started a virus war with Trump.

        1. I’ve always respected Milla Jovovich for not getting a boob job.

            1. Suit yourself. I’m a legs guy.

              1. That was her dialogue from 5th Element

                  1. You said you were gay earlier.

              1. Dibs, motherfucker.

                1. fair enough there are like 4 billion chicks. 8 billion legs.

                  1. Imagine that could be 12 Billion Martian Boobs.

      2. It is amazing watching you think you’re not trolling in the threads you play a victim in.

    3. Then you don’t worry about the unfairness of people working their ass off to accumulate a lot of property, nor spending it their own way on their own hobbies.

      The problem is that Musk, Bezos, and Branson became rich through theft; that is, their wealth is largely derived from taxes, subsidies, market distortions, and regulations.

      So, the criticism of the left of these people is justified. It’s just that the left was instrumental in committing the theft in the first place.

      1. I’m not sure that’s the case at all.

        Certainly, in Musk’s case, the best case against subsides for Tesla was that they were entirely unnecessary. The whole auto industry is going electric because of Tesla’s success–and it was about consumer driven demand that would have been there anyway without the subsidies. Tesla had customers who stayed on their waiting list for years, and when the subsidies ran out, they kept selling Teslas anyway.

        Meanwhile, SpaceX is about saving the taxpayers tons of money. Their launches cost less than $150 million a launch. NASA’s heavy rocket, when it’s finally ready to launch, will cost $2 billion per launch. And, again, the U.S. taxpayer didn’t have to pay a penny for SpaceX to develop those rockets. It was all investor funded.

        Think of it this way, even anarcho-capitalism is about replacing the government with private contractors. If hiring private contractors to do a better job than NASA for a fraction of the cost to launch government satellites isn’t the libertarian solution, then how do you expect to transfer things the government does now to private contractors? Excuse me, but SpaceX doing government contracts better than the government and for less is the libertarian solution.

        Now that SpaceX is doing pretty much everything NASA’s heavy rocket project was doing, we should replace NASA with a really short shell script. Mission accomplished!

        Same thing with Bezos in terms of Amazon. Amazon is not a success because of any subsidies they were given. Amazon would have been a success without them. They improve the standard of living, and if they can do better things for less than the government can, then as taxpayers, we should be glad about that.

        1. According to the Twitteratti, Bezos wealth and Amazon’s success has decreased the standard of living of many. He made them slaves for less than a “livable wage” they say. Ditto for the unions trying to organize them.

          If they do go union, watch how fast drone deliveries materialize. The unions never seem to understand how much they contribute to the demise of their own rank and file.

          1. “He made them slaves for less than a “livable wage” they say.”

            I did fine there, thank you very much for your concern.

        2. “The whole auto industry is going electric because of Tesla’s success–and it was about consumer driven demand that would have been there anyway without the subsidies. ”

          I am not too sure on this. A $7600 credit made Teslas price-competitive with other luxury car brands. And states’ gift of HOV (Carpool) lanes to electric cars largely gave Teslas a competitive advantage over those car companies. Finally, 100% of Tesla’s net income has come from selling their emissions credits to other car companies. (Car companies are given vouchers for how much of their fleet can emit however much carbon. Because Tesla made zero emitting cars, they could sell all of their emissions credits to eg GM.)

          It is doubtful to me that Tesla would have survived as a car company absent those handouts from the government. Every company in the country had access to these same mechanisms. Had Ford focused (hah!) on getting an electric car to market 10 years earlier, they’d have been able to reap exactly the same rewards.

          1. Electric cars are a pipe dream. In many ways worse for the environment, inefficient, inconvenient, and the supply of materials used to construct the power trains is increasingly under Chinese control worldwide. On top of that, the treasonous usurper Biden has decreed that no rare earth elements will be extracted in the US.

            Yet we’re being increasingly pushed toward EV’s. Just more reasons to put the progs down.

            1. And the envirowhackos are working hard to ensure there won’t be enough electric power to charge those cars after they’ve forced us to convert to them.

        3. Certainly, in Musk’s case, the best case against subsides for Tesla was that they were entirely unnecessary. The whole auto industry is going electric because of Tesla’s success–and it was about consumer driven demand that would have been there anyway without the subsidies.

          The only reason there is demand for EVs is because of EV subsidies, fleet MPG standards, crippling regulations and taxes on gasoline powered cars, and the fact that you can use the HOV lane in an EV. Consumers still don’t want EVs and EVs still aren’t a cost-efficient car for most consumers.

          Meanwhile, SpaceX is about saving the taxpayers tons of money. Their launches cost less than $150 million a launch.

          Here is an idea for “saving the taxpayer lots of money”: just don’t launch any rockets with taxpayer money at all.

          If hiring private contractors to do a better job than NASA for a fraction of the cost to launch government satellites isn’t the libertarian solution, then how do you expect to transfer things the government does now to private contractors? Excuse me, but SpaceX doing government contracts better than the government and for less is the libertarian solution.

          So when the federal government shoves billions of dollars in the hands of well-connected functions for purposes that have nothing to do with the federal government (i.e., NASA), you call that “the libertarian solution”? That’s absurd.

          Same thing with Bezos in terms of Amazon. Amazon is not a success because of any subsidies they were given. Amazon would have been a success without them. They improve the standard of living, and if they can do better things for less than the government can, then as taxpayers, we should be glad about that.

          We’re not talking about whether “Amazon can do things better than the government”. In many ways, Amazon at this point is part of the government: they do what the government tells them, and in return the support the government. And Amazon achieved that status in large part through government regulations; absent those regulations, there would be many more competing services.

          1. I long-parroted standard anti-corporate libertarian talking points, but after 13 years of working at Amazon and seeing libertarians say things that did not match the reality that I knew there, I no longer do so.

            In short: you are just wrong on this one. I was in meeting after meeting after meeting after review after proposal etc etc at Amazon, and never did the notion of “hey let’s make sure we’re thinking about the government here” come up, not once, ever. The *only* thing we did was go “let’s make sure we’re not going to get in trouble with the minimal amount that we have to do,” but every other conversation was about how what we were planning to do was going to effect customers. This whole thing about big corporations necessarily just being appendages of the government has got to stop as a libertarian talking point, because anyone who has been part of them just does not feel any resonance and we lose them.

            1. In short: you are just wrong on this one. I was in meeting after meeting after meeting after review after proposal etc etc at Amazon, and never did the notion of “hey let’s make sure we’re thinking about the government here” come up, not once, ever.

              Are you blind? Amazon has massive government contracts, is under constant scrutiny by OCR, FTC, IRS, Justice, and other departments, and is subject to government subpoenas and gag orders. Amazon spends massive amounts on lobbying, and that’s two way. And Amazon massively benefits from regulatory capture. That’s all publicly known.

              In addition, as in other large tech companies, government and politicians communicate their preferences to Amazon. Were you in the legal and compliance departments? Did you meet with regulators and politicians? You have no idea what Bezos or other company leaders are being told behind closed doors and how that affects corporate direction.

              This whole thing about big corporations necessarily just being appendages of the government has got to stop as a libertarian talking point, because anyone who has been part of them just does not feel any resonance and we lose them.

              Are you kidding? You already “lost them”. You’re a cheerleader for crony capitalist corporations and a useful idiot to progressives and socialists. Libertarianism is dead in the US, and it’s people like you who killed it.

      2. “The problem is that Musk, Bezos, and Branson became rich through theft; that is, their wealth is largely derived from taxes, subsidies, market distortions, and regulations.”

        Left-libertarian in da house.

        I like the attitude of left libertarians, but I just don’t think most of you have much of an idea of what actually happens in a big company, and your rhetoric just rings hollow. Sure, States distort economics in a lot of ways, but the notion that they do so *so much* that the Amazons of the world wouldn’t have been just as – if not more – successful in a Stateless world remains unconvincing no matter how deep I dig into Chartier/Long etc. There’s a smidge of something interesting there, but the conclusions are way too strong.

        1. I like the attitude of left libertarians

          I’m not a left libertarian.

          but I just don’t think most of you have much of an idea of what actually happens in a big company, and your rhetoric just rings hollow

          I’ve worked much of my career at big corporations.

          but the notion that they do so *so much* that the Amazons of the world wouldn’t have been just as – if not more – successful in a Stateless world remains unconvincing

          I’m sure in another reality, Bezos could have founded an Amazon that succeeded spectacularly in a free market. In this reality, he had no choice: his company necessarily became both subject to government pressure and the recipient of government benefits/regulatory capture.

    4. Shooting first is a sure fire way to stop any looting.

      Just say’n.

  17. We can’t resolve homelessness in one mid-sized city after spending billions on it, and we think that one billionaire will “solve world hunger”? Does being a progressive require a special kind of stupidity to get into the club, or will just any old run of the mill stupidity do?

    1. Forced sacrifice in the name of climate change isn’t really meant to solve the problem, and soaking the rich isn’t really about solving any problem either.

      It’s just about doing what makes them feel good, and they love forcing other people to make sacrifices for the good of others!

      Progressives like stabbing pigs and hearing them squeal. They like the way it feels in their hands when they stab, and they like the sound of the squealing. They like the aesthetics of pig stabbing, too.

      Christians are pigs in the progressive mind. The white, blue collar middle class of the Midwest are pigs; people with southern accents are pigs; and, yeah, wealthy people are pigs, too–especially if they haven’t sacrificed enough for others. Stab, stab, stab!

      They’re like a kid on the sidewalk playing with some ants and a magnifying glass.

      1. Schadenfreudeism. The pursuit of taking from others in an effort to gain euphoria from their suffering.

      2. Is it any wonder that the proggies are the ones who LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to teach Lord of the Flies to our 8th/9th graders?

      3. So, you’re saying their Muslims?

    2. Some of these billionaires wouldn’t even notice if you took a few trillion dollars from them. A billion is ten million and a trillion is ten billion, and some of those bastards are worth $100 billion or more, over $10 trillion. A trillion dollars is enough to give every single person in the US $300 million so I don’t really see the moral problem here.

      1. You suck at math

        1. ………woooooooooooosh

      2. You are just plain blind.

      3. They could give every voter in NYC a million dollars!

      4. “A billion is ten million and a trillion is ten billion”

        You’re joking, right? [In case it’s not obvious: a billion is *a thousand* million, etc. You’re off by 100]

    3. They’ll happily accept any moron, idiot, or retard.

  18. Unfortunately people are mostly poor in America due to laziness and the will to be an underachiever. I understand that some poor are downtrodden due to circumstances beyond their control, but that does not mean I have to give my earned money to them so they can continue to live beyond their means. True, billionaires are d-bags but taxing them won’t change the poors situation or the middle class where I’m at. The argument is no different than saying middle class should be taxed more; just on a bigger scale

    1. Yep. We shouldn’t have to fund their poor choices in life. It won’t change a damn thing if we do anyway.

    2. I don’t know. Certainly that’s true for some number of the most visible ones, but I do think that there are quite a few who were failed by both their parents and society in general.

      We build and run schools and the notion is that those schools are going to teach children how to have at least a baseline for survival in the world. And then between their parents not getting them to do the work, and the schools being terrible, we end up with huge swaths of people who can’t read or do basic math, let alone have any higher reasoning skills. And then on top of that you get folks who have been taught their whole life that there’s no point in working because the government will be there to supply them.

      I’m not sure it counts as “laziness” that they’ve learned the lesson they’ve been taught their whole life. If you never bother trying to housebreak a puppy, you’re going to end up with a dog that just goes anywhere in the house.

      Unfortunately, just because I can recognize that the issue exists doesn’t mean I have any ideas for how to solve it. :-\

      1. It’s called learned helplessness and dependency. There would be no left base without it. You can infer the solution from that.

    3. And most of the people living paycheck to paycheck have no one else to blame. I know plenty of people making a perfectly decent middle-class income who live check to check because they are stupid about money.

    4. Bleggh. “Unfortunately people are mostly poor in America ” No, no they are not. Living standards for all but the poorest are far better than they were for the vast majority of people throughout history.

      “due to laziness” But not you, right? It’s always “them” that are lazy, but never yourself. Because you’re a hardworking ‘murkan “my earned money.”

      Not only are the poor lazy, but “billionaires are d-bags”. So pretty much everyone but you sucks, right?

      You’re the kind of libertarian I have spent the last decade distancing myself from… Ignorant and hateful are a bad combination in life son.

  19. As if we needed any more evidence that today’s Democrats are the opposite of JFK.

    1. ya Dr. King’s hard work and sacrificed life is right out the fucking window too.

  20. Yes, by all means, let’s take all the money from all the billionaires.
    Every cent. Their entire wealth.

    That would fund the government for a …. whole seven months. (last time I checked).

    1. And, the gubermint would own Amazon. (Bezo’s so called wealth is just paper ownership of AZ really) They could run it like the post office….or the DMV. It would be absolute nirvana.

    2. That would fund the government for a …. whole seven months. (last time I checked).

      And that assumes it’s all just cash sitting on pallets somewhere waiting to be forklifted to the Fed. The idea that it could take months to years to liquidate and arbitrate and wind up costing more to seize than they would make doesn’t even begin to occur to them.

  21. How to be a Tyrant on Netflix is good fun. A Tyrant needs a perceived common enemy. In this case “The Rich” is the new “The Jews”.

    1. Misek is in his bunk.

    2. Perfect analogy.

    3. Of course, “The Jews” are also the new “The Jews” for the left. They’re a perennial favorite for the left to hate.

    4. There’s nothing new about it.

      Secret societies, secrets depend on lies.

      Lying to serve themselves has always been and always will be the religion and downfall of Jews.

      The simplest truth will always vanquish the most complex lie.

  22. Perhaps someone could explain the concept of “price elasticity” to those lefty ignoramuses.

    1. Or perhaps not!

    2. There is no cause so hopeless as getting a person to understand that which they have a will to not comprehend.

  23. Gimme. More. Said every socialist ever.

  24. Progs on progress. 1930’s started, very prescient.

    https://youtu.be/atwfWEKz00U?t=4635

    1. 1930’s style

  25. Billionaires Spending Their Own Money To Go to Space Has Progressives Howling For a Wealth Tax

    Don’t complain, Reason: you worked hard to get the current regime into power.

      1. Hmmmm, not my best formatted post, but you get the idea.

      2. Nah… it’s pretty much your fault, douchebag. You gaslighted and bullshitted for Dear Leader long enough and hard enough so that everyone else basically became nauseated enough to vote for a 78-year old Alzheimer’s patient. This whole debacle is on you. Sorry for your loss.

        1. You’re just jealous that you suck at doing parodies but are awesome at not paying your mortgage, tankie.

        2. … so that everyone else basically became nauseated enough to vote for a 78-year old Alzheimer’s patient.
          We don’t know if that’s what really happened.
          Audits aren’t allowed.

          1. Kamala is in the wings. Nothing to fear here.

        3. So you’re saying that Biden was the best thing you and your faggot friends could run as a presidential candidate? Damn, that’s fucking weak.

          No wonder you people need to lie and cheat so much, you’re just worthless.

  26. Progressives are harmless.

    Sure, they’ll claim they want to “drink billionaire tears” or pass a wealth tax. Then they’ll obediently support the same Presidential candidate Koch-funded libertarians support, and even demand billionaire-friendly policies like open borders.

  27. “some progressives, who view the spectacle as an ostentatious display of economic inequality that must be fixed“

    Some who recognize reality.

    Earth is a closed system which every human being has the inalienable right to one and only share of.

    Nobody has the right to consume many hundreds of peoples worth of non renewable resources to get rich or for shits and giggles.

    1. But the likes of Adolf Hitler have the right to waste millions of lives, and then have the reality of that be totally ignored and denied! According to Rob Misek, at least…

    2. And you get to decide the size of that share and who gets that share, right? And you get to shove some people off the mortal coil if you don’t like them right? And you and everyone else is equal, despite you being the one holding a gun to their head, right?

      You are some kind of psycho. I’m just not sure what kind.

      1. FYI, for real, Rob Misek is a Holocaust denier. Also the other day Rob Misek told us that Hitler was a Freemason!

        (Some of the masonry around my house could use a wee tad of touch-up; having it done for FREE sounds TOTES cool to me!)

    3. Cite required fuckwits.

      When you humiliated liars can’t refute what you deny, you just make shit up.

      1. Just shut up already.

      2. Cites for what? For how absolutely stupid your argument is?

        If we have no “right” to the non renewable resources of the planet, who does? Our children? Their children? The UN?

        At the end of the day, Oil is worth exactly jack shit to “humanity” while locked in the ground. Renewable, or non renewable, it is doing NOTHING for humanity. Generations upon generations of humans have starved to death on top of rich oil fields. The proximate cause of that changing is some glorious bastard scrounging tools, technology, work and money together to pump that shit up and turn it into energy. 95% of the value of that resource comes from everything they did to turn it from a toxic sludge into a refined, distributed resource that allows you to drive your car on asphalt roads and rubber tires. The leasing fees, and Taxes they pay on the raw resource itself, goes far beyond paying for the actual value of the resource itself.

        1. Cites to back up their bullshit claim fuckwit.

        2. You and the other fuckwits chose to respond to my comment.

          Unless you are in agreement with me, you are denying what I have said and you should be able to refute that which you deny just as I do.

          Your ad hominem rhetoric only demonstrates that you are a humiliated liar who can’t refute what you deny.

      3. You’ve proved nothing that requires refutation. You’re just a nazi wannabe with fevered dreams of Jewish Holocaust 2.0. Best to throw you in a landfill with the progs.

        1. Cite required fuckwit.

          Without providing any you simply prove yourself to be a humiliated liar.

        2. Cite required for,

          “You’re just a nazi wannabe with fevered dreams of Jewish Holocaust 2.0”

    4. “Earth is a closed system which every human being has the inalienable right to one and only share of.”

      Yep, that’s the reason the earth still has a population of 500, and we’re all eating lichen soup seasoned with stones.
      I knew stupidity was a requirement to be a holocaust-denier, but the depths of the stupidity continues to surprise.

    5. What is that share?

      1. That’s a good question.

    6. I’m all for fixing progressives. If by “fixing” you mean neutering.

      Damn fools breed like rabbits! Then, they pop up everywhere. Faster than they can be exterminated.

    7. OK.

      Earth is not a closed system. Enormous amounts of energy come in every day in the form of sunlight.

      Non-renewable resources? Which ones? What’s one share? Do we have to consider every person who will ever exist in the future? That’s not going to leave people with very much for today.
      While some stuff is harder to renew than others, the only real non-renewable resource I can think of is Uranium (and other radioactive elements). Any other resource is just chemicals being rearranged and moved around. There’s still the same amount of copper and gold and phosphorus as there ever was on Earth.

      But thanks for coming and showing how close progressives and neo-nazi shitheads actually are.

      1. We’re you too stupid to even google it? Is your anonymous credibility so poor?

        Cite

        “Earth is considered a closed system because though heat enters, its mass remains essentially constant”

        http://www.reference.com/science/earth-considered-closed-system-6a9d5fa963c1f0e4

        1. That’s mass, not energy. [Despite Einstein, in practice these are essentially separate.]

          1. That’s the definition of a closed system fuckwit.

    8. About 3% of the world’s wealth is from “resources”; the rest is from human productivity. So that wouldn’t really change anything, even ignoring the problems with simply asserting what each person’s rights are, when “rights” can only be given, not asserted.

      And even if you could somehow divvy stuff up evenly, it wouldn’t result in economic equality, since people would do different things with that stuff, some valuable, some not.

      This line of thinking just doesn’t work.

      1. Economies are all essentially fictional.

        The market, growing interest, debt, recessions and depressions are not natural systems.

        Money represents work, nothing more. The compensation oligarchs take has no longer any relationship to work.

        Logically we all have the same inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and our economy should model that.

        Logic is a rational line of thinking.

  28. “Paupers Spending Their Own Money Live To In A Tar Paper Shack Has Progressives Howling For a Wealth Tax”
    Progressives never change!

  29. It’s not really the case that I begrudge a billionaire for spending his money on something so flippant and dumb. Richard Branson seems like an ok guy and if he wants to spend his money on this bullshit than let him be him. My problem is with anyone who makes under 50k/yr, watches this enormous waste of money and talent, and concludes “hey, you know what would make my life better? A tax break for billionaires so that they can feel weightlessness for 5 minutes in pretty much the same way as I do when I go to the pool” That’s who I want to talk with.

    1. Well, more to the point, short and sweet… I seriously doubt that these guys pay taxes on the benefits (pleasures) of their joyride. It is a “company expense” joyride, “researching the quality of their product”, or some such horseshit! You or I buy a $250,000 or so joyride from them? Do WE get to NOT pay taxes on our $250,000 joyride? Ha!!!

      (That’s the only real bitch I have about the whole deal).

      1. Branson has invested shit tons of his money into this project- money that had been previously taxed. I am sure that this was written off as part of an expense since it was technically a test launch. But the $250k is a drop in the bucket compared to what he has put into Virgin Galactic.

        Then again he may have gotten that money back when VG went public, I don’t know. But I am pretty certain that VG is dead on the vine.

        1. Yes, agreed, it is sad how leftists want to tax us more-more-more, always more, never (hardly ever at the very least) acknowledging that LOTS of businesses (of all sizes) get their seed money out of the personal wallets of founders… Already taxed, as you say! Tax them yet more (tax all of us more), start that many less new businesses…

    2. Paying less =/ having government take from someone else to give to them. How many jobs is that $50k/year person creating? Are they getting more in govt services than what they pay in?

      1. For that matter, how much in taxes have all the people who VG employed paid?

    3. Yes, steaming pile of lefty shit, if it weren’t for the politics of envy you wouldn’t have any at all.
      Get a job, fuckface, and pay your mortgage.

      1. American Socia1ist can’t pay his motgage ’cause he foolishly lent all of his money to Der TrumpfenFuhrer, who went bankrupt for the 6th time!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_career_of_Donald_Trump#:~:text=Although%20Trump%20has%20never%20filed,small%20businesses%20(unsecured%20creditors).

        Sevo… Hypnotic suggestion follows… Send all of your money to Der TrumpfenFuhrer NOW!!!

    4. This guy is an expert on flippant and dumb

      1. Could he be Paul Krugman?

  30. “The private space industry has problems from a libertarian perspective too. … New Mexico taxpayers shelled out $220 million to fund Virgin Galactic’s desert launch facility.”

    The above taints the whole thing. Every large corporate endeavor involves government handouts like the above. It always results with states competing with each other to give away the most money.

    1. Considering New Mexico’s one of the biggest welfare states in the country, consider it a form of giving the private sector back some of its money.

      1. And is it really “shelled out $220M” or was it “agreed to not collect $220M in taxes that would have been ‘owed’ otherwise” anyway? I mean, I wouldn’t be shocked if it were the former, although that’s a drop in the bucket compared to Bill’s Train Set, but the latter is a fairly common setup. I’m not even sure if I can get mad about it.

  31. We’re seeing the miracle of funding sources. Spending by the government improves the economy and so is always worth doing regardless of what the money is spent on. Spending by private entities is useless no matter what it is spent on.

    Also note the implied ownership by the people complaining. It’s strange so many people make a lavish living simply by claiming they deserve more of what other people produce.

  32. Billionaires Spending Their Own Money To Go to Space Has Progressives Howling For a Wealth Tax

    Not to defend a wealth tax, but the Billionaires Branson and Musk are not spending their own money.

    Not only does Elon Muskrat get taxdollars from the U.S Governmemt, but Dame Richard Branson demanded a bailout for Virgin Airlines almost in the same breath as condemning a bailout for British Airways!

    Do better, Billionaires! And do better, Britches, with writing stories.

    1. If it’s so easy, why aren’t you a billionaire?

      1. He was, but some progs used a de-billionairifier ray gun on him. Which immediately stripped him of his billionaire powers.

      2. Guess what? I make far less than 1/10,000th of what Dame Branson or The Muskrat make and I turn down Gummint Cheese and Stimulus money! Surely they can do likewise!

  33. Here on Earth, in the richest country on the planet, half our people live paycheck to paycheck, people are struggling to feed themselves, struggling to see a doctor — but hey, the richest guys in the world are off in outer space!

    You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 terraformed moons or of 18 different orbital platforms when children are hungry in this country.

    1. We here at Reason have long advocated giving those children gainful employment, haven’t we?

  34. As soon as the rappers start spending their money on the homeless instead of some stupid chain I’ll get on board.

    1. Touche’.

      I’ve been saying the same thing to all the proggy homeless advocates here in California. They’ve even renamed them now. We went from hobos, bums and winos to”homeless”. Now they’ve been renamed to “unhoused”.

      If their advocates are so sure that providing housing for them would get them out of their despair, they are free to open their homes to them. But, don’t come crying to me when you suffer the consequences and they’re still out on the street.

    2. R Kelly would shelter homeless kids.

  35. Anybody who owns three houses can’t complain about billionaires. It is interesting that Bernie no longer talks about millionaires as being bad people.

    1. He had to up his game.

    2. Inflation?

  36. Blasting pedophiles into space to protect the children of earth is a fine idea. But it has its drawbacks.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/InterdimensionalCable/comments/lz15jc/brass_eye_paedophile_blasted_into_space/

  37. Tax the billionaires as much as you want I could care less. Just remember all of that money will do nothing towards the deficit. As long as these idiots in DC keep printing money nothing will change. I certainly would make sure with an IRS review that Bernie Sanders is paying his fair share.

    1. “I certainly would make sure with an IRS review that Bernie Sanders is paying his fair share.”

      Does Branson pay any income tax? I doubt he pays any more than Trump does. Which is trivial. Income tax is meant for shlubs like Sanders and the rest of us.

      1. Branson is a British subject.

        1. So, no income tax? Even better.

          1. Brits pay income tax. Lots of it.

            1. You’re telling me Branson pays lots of income tax? Only if he wants to. Which is his right. Generally, income tax is for shlubs like you and Sanders. Not billionaires.

      2. “…shlubs like Sanders and the rest of us.”
        trueman truly is an ignoramus:

        Bernie Sanders · Net worth
        $3 million

        Never worked a day in his life.

        1. I’m worth more than Sanders?

          Say it ain’t so.

          1. It ain’t so. Unless you’ve got a few best selling books under your belt, and a comfortable government job as Sanders does.

            1. Sanders is the poster child for why useless unproductive idiots become democrats. Where worthless unproductive oeolpe can make lots of money while being worthless and unproductive.

              Which is why we need to get rid of the democrats.

              1. I bet you’re jealous of everyone with a few best sellers under their belts. How about Barack Hussein Obama? Jealous of him, too? And Al Gore, star of a Hollywood blockbuster? Leonardo DiCaprio? The young girl from Sweden? This guilt, shame and self loathing of yours is not your most attractive feature. Can’t say much for your spelling, either.

      3. I don’t believe he does. He lives in the Virgin Islands. I don’t live in the UK and don’t pay income taxes there either.
        His company pays hundreds of millions of pounds in duties.

        1. ” He lives in the Virgin Islands.”

          Maybe I’d live there too if I didn’t have to work for a living.

          1. Then you also wouldn’t have to pay UK income taxes. Cheers mate.

        2. Should have built the Virgin Galactic launch facility in the Virgin Islands.

        3. What is the top income tax bracket in the UK now? I can recall when it was effectively over 100% and thousands of the UK’s most productive subjects established residences in other countries to avoid UK taxes. E.g., science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke went to live in Sri Lanka for 6 months and 1 day every year, and Sri Lanka began to appear in his books. Is this why Branson is in the Virgin Islands, or does he just love the name?

  38. Best political line ever:
    There’s a lot of money out there. It’s ALL in the wrong hands.
    Bill DeBlasio to a standing ovation on Bill Maher., maybe 2017 or 2018.

    1. Yep. The government’s hands which are the grabbiest hands around. (And pretty grubby too!)

      1. Governor Cuomo gave this post a thumbs up. A thumbs up the dress!

    2. What a collection of losers. It’s shame there was no random VX nerve gas released during the taping of that episode.

    3. Any libertarian would say exactly the same thing.

      They think the wrong hands are people who can barely afford food and healthcare.

  39. I admit I am surprised by the public blowback on these trips, which are basically PR. The LA times is howling how it is so unfair, and other liberal media is bitching and complaining. I just don’t get it. I think all this stuff is cool! Probably because I wish I could be an astronaut. But to my way of thinking, just cuz I won’t ever be one doesn’t mean I should begrudge anybody from privately purchasing such a ticket, or using their own space travel company, which are not money makers. If everyone can’t do it, nobody should be allowed is a crazy way of looking at the world, and seems to be more and more of a toxic viewpoint that the left is pushing in the USA.

  40. Why doesnt someone ask all these lying Marxist shitbags why all their “Tax the Billionaires” schemes always seem to impact ranchers and your local plumbing contractor the hardest?

    1. Ranchers and plumbers pay tax. Why not billionaires?

      1. Billionaires pay tax too. You just want them to pay for YOU. You think they somehow owe you.

        No one owes you shit.

        1. Plumbers pay income tax. Not billionaires. And YOU are no billionaire. You’re not even a libertarian with your muddle headed defense of a corrupt and punitive tax regime.

          1. Nobody should pay an income tax. I’m glad we can agree on this.

      2. Way to dodge the entire point, dipwad

        1. I asked all these lying Marxist shitbags why all their “Tax the Billionaires” schemes always seem to impact ranchers and your local plumbing contractor the hardest, and that’s what they told me.

  41. Well tragically Branson returned unscathed. But there’s still hope Bezos will be hijacked by one of those UFOs we’ve been hearing so much about and be subjected to many hours of painful anal probing.

    1. Who said it’s painful??

  42. “Billionaires Spending Their Own Money To Go to Space Has Progressives Howling For a Wealth Tax”

    Mr. Carter would be proud. He pushed for increased taxes in the 1980 debate with Mr. Reagan by positing that Americans had too much money, causing the large inflation of the day. Reagan responded along the lines of “President Carter thinks the government knows how to spend the citizens money better than the citizens do”

    Same

    1. “We could give you some of your money back, but you might not spend it right” — Bill Clinton

    2. I knew that Carter was an ignoramus in the standard Democrat way, but I didn’t remember him blaming high wages for inflation. If I ever meet him, I’m going to scorch his ears off for that after I’m done berating him for his utter incompetence in office.

      -jcr

  43. Instead of throwing commies out of helicopters, we can now use space ships! Pinochet 2.0.

    1. Why not just euthanize them on the spot, tosss them into dump trucks, and then deposit them in local landfills?

      1. Put the on the launchpad. Instantaneous cremation services. The rockets are already launching and that way even the cost of a bullet is saved.

        Efficiency!

      2. Wait. Now there are crematorium’s specifically for humans to be used as compost. Washington State just built one.

  44. I’d rather see Bezos spend his money on rockets than keeping those fucking tankies at the WaPo on his payroll.

    -jcr

    1. Those tankies are supposed to buy him cover.

  45. Wait a minute…aren’t these billionaires already investors in education and health businesses?

    1. Perhaps by running companies which generate wealth?
      Well, by gosh, a guess they are!

  46. You’d think that progressives would be applauding this in the hopes of 1) they crash opening up the possibly of collecting some estate tax (assuming estate plans haven’t already been tightly created), and 2) if they do crash the spreading of the wealth among trusts and heirs should reduce some inequality stats.

  47. Greedy progressives, always wanting to get their hands on other peoples’ money.

  48. You know, guys, there is such a thing as too big a yacht. That limit will never be considered a limit by two guys with money in the dick contest of life.

    You could roughly tell that it’s time to pull the lever to let some of the coins flush out into the peasant streets when the luxuries of the rich start to become boringly and tastelessly vast in scale. I propose the yacht index. Once yachts approach a certain length in feet, it’s time to hike them taxes up.

    It’s a wonderfully visual way of explaining how taxes work and what you’re doing with them.

    I’ll allow a dick contest into space. But once we find out which of these autistic late bloomers gets Sally Lou from 5th grade to kiss hiss peepee, we can use that as a nice, symbolic signal to put on the squeeze.

    And the sick, sad thing about you people is that you have an absolute choice not to be serfs, and you choose to be serfs. I wonder if actual serfs were so servile.

    1. Fuck off, you jealous little shit.

      -jcr

      1. The only person I’m jealous of is the guy who fucked my first love.

        I spent my childhood on boats. Do you have any idea how industrious I had to be to position myself to be shat into the world in the top 5%?

        1. Bullshit. Like all lefturds, you’re jealous of anyone who earns more than you do. That’s why you blather your fantasies of what to do with money that they earned and you didn’t.

          -jcr

    2. The only real issue with wealth is how did one get it? Through fraud, through making employees slaves, through theft, through inheritance, or by working hard, saving, sacrificing and having a dream and a goal?

      If through hard work and sacrifice, the money people have-no matter how much-is deserved. Then, it is their choice on whether or not they want to help others. Voluntary charity is quite different than forced charity and the left want forced charity and that forced charity to go only to those they deem worthy.

      1. No, that’s your overwhelming obsession with people’s moral worth getting in the way of a very simple conversation. I don’t care how good or bad people are. I don’t believe people are good or bad, and I think all moral judgments are subjective.

        What should be public concern is whether there are children starving in your society. If there are, then some rich asshole is not being taxed enough.

  49. If you have money, you can do anything

  50. So, if Bernie Sanders ever spends money on something he enjoys instead of donating it to the poor, obviously we need to tax his wealth more.

    But I’m sure he never does that.

  51. Let me see if I have this straight. Liberal Socialists portray the wealthy (that they don’t like) as sucking up all of the wealth and keeping it locked away. When some of these wealthy spend their money, creating jobs, in a way that they don’t like that isn’t good either. Well the Liberal Socialists can pretty much FOAD. This “space race” is pouring millions, if not billions of dollars into the economy. They are employing people, who then spend their money creating jobs for other people and so on. In the mean time the Liberal Socialists are pissing away money, that only goes to fund other Liberal Socialists. If they want to spend their money on what they want, fine, but, leave the rest of us alone. By the way Space X is a customer of the company that I work for, so in a way some of Musk’s money finds it’s way into my paycheck.

  52. More than half of my Facebook friends abandoned critical thinking years ago. They speak as if ending hunger by confiscating wealth hasn’t been tried before.

    All I really care about now is Elon Musk keeping himself together long enough for me to get Starlink internet service at home, because I’m served by Windstream, a terrible legacy phone company with a de facto monopoly.

  53. Wait, I thought the problem was the rich were hoarding their money and not allowing the economy to have it?

    I’m sure all the engineers, technicians, etc., who work for these space billionaires have no problem with the billionaires going into space.

  54. Quoting Ayn Rand is the time-honored way to make sure no one takes you seriously.

    1. Sneer harder! Just so you know though, what you’re signaling isn’t virtue.

      -jcr

  55. wealthy people spending their money creates more economic activity than government stealing it through taxation.

    We should hope that rich people spend their money and encourage them to do so.

    The more they spend the more economic activity that they create.

    1. Personally, I prefer they invest the vast majority of it. And they do.

  56. I’m surprised the loony leftists aren’t thrilled with this space success because if life could be supported on another planet, they could send the “domestic terrorists”, i.e., anyone who doesn’t agree with them, there and get rid of them once and for all. Or, they could finally realize their dreams of utopia and move their elite there to rule the planet as they want to rule the earth.

    1. If you separate parasite and host, the host flourishes and the parasite dies. Who’s productivity would the left steal from if it were by itself?

  57. Yes. Send them to there, but not to come back!

  58. Will space travel ever be readily available to those who aren’t billionaires? I think there has been great development in recent years in reducing the costs and think it can be done so even more!

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