Subject: Re: Tom W. Bell paper
From: Russ Nelson <>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 12:18:30 -0400

simo writes:
 > On Mon, 2006-09-11 at 23:07 -0400, Russ Nelson wrote:
 > > simo writes:
 > >  > You wouldn't even have the man of the moon without government funding,
 > >  > let's not think of all the technology the fell down from it.
 > > 
 > > Please, Simo, I'd like to see some better economics from you.  There
 > > is no such thing as "government funding".  There is redirected
 > > taxpayer spending.  Had the government not taken the taxes, taxpayers
 > > would have spent the money on something else, which would have
 > > directed investment elsewhere.  The choice is not between government
 > > spending and no spending.  The choice is between government spending
 > > and taxpayer spending.
 > Sorry but I consider this nonsense.

That's a bizarre thing to say.  If somebody says "Look at the sun" and
points up, do you consider that nonsense?

Government spending displaced some other kind of spending.  You make
yourself a fool to say "In all alternative histories, none of them
included private parties putting a man on the moon."  Whenever you say
"X wouldn't have happened unless Y", you open yourself up to all sorts
of refutation.  In particular, NASA had a legislated monopoly on space

Many things are *easier* to do when they're done through forcible
extraction of resources.  It's *easier* to sell proprietary software
than sell open source software.  So why don't we pursue the *easier*
course?  Why are we here?  Why do we do what we do?

 > > Let's look at it from a businessman's perspective.  Who would you
 > > rather have as a customer: the person who earned the money, or the
 > > person who took it from him?
 > The person that pay.If we want to look it strictly from a businessman
 > perspective, I care only of the customer that pay the money, do not
 > really matter to me where or how they got them.

You're neglecting the cost of the earnings.

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Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  |     Sheepdog          | one they actually chose.-DH