Getting the wrong people to do the right thing
I have thought Gingrich was a snake ever since he snubbed my family and me in a stairwell of the capital building in 1997. That might
mbe unfair but there is enough wrong with him otherwise. I wont get into it to avoid unhelpfully alienating readers as politics is not the point of this blog.
However, I had forgotten that he is a longtime supporter of Robert Zubrin and the idea of issuing federally funded prized for space exploration. Basically, instead of having NASA do the exploration (central planning approach, fraught with poor incentives), or contracting firms to do the exploration (maybe better but still open to regulatory capture, Eisenhower’s warning), NASA simply throws money at the first group to achieve some goal. So if you wanted an American mission to Mars, you set aside $50 billion in treasuries and give it to the first team to meet the mission criteria. That is, send 4 or 6 American’s to Mars for 18 months of science stuff.
There is enough private capital in the world to come up with the $20 billion needed for a risky, barebones Mars mission as long as the prize is big enough. If the mission fails, it doesn’t directly cost the taxpayer a thing. If no one goes, it doesn’t cost a thing. If it succeeds, well then we get our Mars mission on the cheap.
Of course Gingrich can’t beat Obama for a number of reason, so it doesn’t really matter. Still, I will take the wrong people supporting the right policy any day. I just hope the policy doesn’t become tainted because of Newt’s character flaws.