Political Commodity

Apparently Obama thinks that he might be too popular.  Apparently the best place to pull money for education to improve math and science is America’s premier math and science institution, NASA.  Of course, we could decrease our military spending and cover both, but that’d just be unpatriotic and not support our troops or some other politically suicidal move.  Of course we could be spending money on endeavors that don’t involve things getting blown up and increased human misery.  You’d also think we’d be trying to develop less lethal methods of fighting wars instead of better killing weapons.   So once again our need to be politically safe has trumped our development of key resources of science.  After all, just think about some of the things you’ll need to develop for space exploration.  Housing that works in extreme environments with the least amount of materials.  Food production in extreme environments.   Contained power supply that isn’t going to rely on resources you won’t have in space.   Now think of a continent that meets a lot of these conditions.  There are quite a few practical Earth bound applications that this science can be used for and the number of people it can help.  Cheaper food, energy, and safe housing will certainly have a much more pronounced affect on world peace than bombs ever will.  You can spend all you want on military and intelligence services to try and prevent terrorism but it’ll never do anything to rectify socio-economic reasons for terrorism and unrest.  Dostoevsky, in The Grand Inquisitor points to the fact that people will follow those who provide them the bread.   When you have no bread and you’re starving you’ll one, follow whoever provides you with bread, or failing that, follow whoever promises to get that bread.

While this has already been in the news before, this man’s auction of his entire life has finally ended.  The grand market value for his life $384,000.  That’s how much his commodities netted him.   That’s the transition of the value of his labor into money.  It’s something to think about in this era of global capitalism.

And if buying and selling of weather seems like a crazy, moonbat idea, think again.  Here’s an interesting (and short) article (extended abstract) on doing just that. There really is no end to what people will commodify in order to make a profit.  Worse yet, it generally makes the average consumer end up paying more.

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