They say if you put a million monkeys to a million typewriters they will eventually produce a novel. Just so Newt Gingrich, who spews an idea a minute, is bound to have a good idea once in a while. I have to say I am disappointed that liberals from Rachel Maddow to Bill Maher have been pooping all over it.
I speak of course of Newt’s promise to build a moon colony. An excellent idea for many reasons, the first several of which is jobs. Nothing creates jobs like a massive infrastructure project, and nothing creates the kind of jobs that challenge our technical work force and put our engineers back to work like big ticket space projects. (Provided NASA can resist the private sector impulse to prefer cheap foreign trained engineers to Americans.) It will also make jobs for mechanics and laborers and lesser classes of workers, not to mention support industries.
A space race will also generate new technologies, which can be spun into new industries and more jobs. Bucky Fuller suggested the best way to fuel economic growth was to design an impossible task and try to complete it. A moon station is not impossible… in fact it is clearly within the reach of our current knowledge… but it will demand that we create new technologies, and significantly expand our development horizons. That means new products and new processes and a significant enhancement of our mastery of technology.
And then there is the future factor. I remember well staying up all night and watching the countdown for the earliest space flights with my geek friends. These were exciting times, we all believed the USA could do anything. No one believed in 1964 that the race to space would stop. We saw it as a continuum that led to the stars, to the adventures of Starship Enterprise. In the last 30 years we have lost that sense of purpose. This is because we have focused our energy and money on meaningless wars and thus depleted our national wealth. And it’s partly because we have not had leaders with the confidence to stand up and demand that we seek bold horizons. Only Newt. A sad commentary.
Finally, we need to move forward with a moon base because if we don’t do it, the Chinese will. At the risk of sounding like a right wing cukoo. No one wants to see the moon painted red.