"If I Wanted America To Fail..."

Republibot 3.0
Republibot 3.0's picture

One thing he doesn't mention, but I think it's important, is that we've staunchly opposed science for nearly a generation now. I was in college when we wanted to build the world's largest supercollider. Congress slapped it down, knowing full well that Europe was about to build one, and that all meaningful physics work was going to come out of the EU for the forseeable future. They didn't care. They opposed the Hubble, which was saved only by public outcry. They oppose the James Webb telescope, which there will be no public outcry to save, since it's harder to explain than Hubble. No pretty pictures. If that's killed, then basically nothing meaningful is going to come out of astrophysics for the forseeable future, until someone like China builds an equivalent.

Apollo was killed three missions early, the follow-on programs were killed on the drawing board, the shuttle was supposed to be replaced by a better, safer follow up by the mid-1990s. There as supposed to be a US/Soviet space station up by 1977! The ONLY manned Mars program that the US *EVER* had was Constellation, and the President killed that against opposition of both parties by convincing the American public that it was useless, that it was something we'd already done, that we already knew everything there is to know about the Moon, and the public believed it. Mostly.

Why does this matter? Because above and beyond what the narrator says above, America's scientific advantages translate into economic might. Knowing how to do something *before* anyone else has figured it out gives a massive market advantage, not to mention employing tens of thousands of people in the development phase.