Corporate welfare

How do you keep vital defense contractors healthy without spending billions and billions on weapons systems?  One way, at least for the majority of advanced technology companies, would be to spend money on space exploration.  That is about the only field where high tech outfits can actually use their engineers, technicians, and tool makers.  Spending ten or fifteen billion dollars a year on aerospace, deep sea, and electronics research and development would go a long way toward keeping Boeing, General Dynamics, and a bunch of other companies you have never heard of working, paying employees, and ready to build things.

Instead of building a new jet fighter to replace totally adequate aircraft, we could spend some of those billions in the ocean, mapping the sea floor, seeing what most of the planet looks like, and creating new industries.  What has been spent on the F-35 so far would have built a permanent base on the Earth’s moon, with some left over.  Not all defense spending is wasted, though.  A long, dangerous, but eventually successful program developed a totally new kind of aircraft, the tilt-rotor, which has tremendous potential for search and rescue work, relief operations, and recreation.  The United States has never spent money on space exploration in large amounts, except for the few years in the 1960’s when we were getting ready to go to the Moon.  The need for corporate welfare is difficult to deny, but at least we could use projects which benefit our culture,  and advance our knowledge.


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