It's really depressing to me when people set up a false dichotomy between funding space exploration and funding health care/aid programs/arts etc.

We could fund arts, sciences, and the social safety net with the money the military wastes on equipment they don't even want.

@Annalee not to mention that space exploration has tangible benefits to life on Earth. I guess it's just harder for people to see the correlation

@Annalee YES. Also, people talk about this stuff like someone is sitting in an office somewhere flipping a switch between “feed people” and “explore space.” That is just really not how government funding works.

@AstroKatie yes this! I spent four years at GSA and gooosh government money doesn't work that way. Government money is non-euclidean.

(Also: exploring space does feed people? It creates living-wage jobs? Like YES PLEASE let us fully fund the social safety net but also economics are a thing).

@Annalee Nevermind that, if you got rid of the people who price-gouge the government, they'd spend a lot less, too. Requirements win over price in most situations, and so if the lowest bidder is greedy AF, the government will still pay.

@Annalee The US in particular wastes a lot of money and resources on military stuff. Its economy is military Keynesianism, but as its industrial base declines that will be harder to maintain.
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