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How does government afford to buy rocket ships?

Posted on 2014-03-22
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How does government afford to buy rocket ships ?
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Question by:naseeam
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tliotta earned 50 total points
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By taxation to finance wars.

A major purpose of government is to maintain social order. As groups of people create social contracts to protect their ways of life, the multiple groups often come into conflict. As a measure of self-defense, the individuals willingly give a portion of their personal wealth into the collective funds of their governments. The size of the collected funds becomes sufficient to allow effective research in weaponry leading to practical rocketry.

The initial costs are too great for private research. That's generally because there is too little return on investment to justify the research in a lifetime of an individual. But as weapons, rocketry can give early rewards.

Once the foundation is laid, it is cheaper for a time to continue further research and development of new technologies within the existing framework. That continues until the potential rewards of investment are great enough to encourage private risk-taking, which is the stage we're entering now. Technologies have advanced far enough that private development might be profitable. (We haven't had an accident where a private rocket has crashed in a foreign capital city yet.)

But competing governments are also developing weapons (rockets). So, the willingness to contribute to collective funds continues. And as collective research continues, funded by collective funds, private efforts benefit farther. Private profits rise.

As long as a kind of balance is maintained, where the society stays protected and where wealth is generated in the society, the willingness to contribute to collective funds will continue.

In short, governments can afford to buy rocket ships because enough people are willing to give money to governments to buy them.

Tom
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by:naseeam
ID: 39948055
Thank you very much for a detailed answer.
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by:tliotta
ID: 39948098
I appreciate the points, but I'd suggest keeping questions open for an extra day or two to encourage others to add comments and create some debate. There are too many viewpoints and factors to cover large issues in (relatively) short posts. Simple questions can have extremely complex answers.

Regardless, thank you.

Tom
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