Harry Browne on Technology
2000 Libertarian Nominee for President
In the 1970s several private companies wanted to build their own rocket launchers and send satellites into space. But the government wouldn’t use their services. And by offering cheap, subsidized rates for launching satellites, the government effectively killed all private competition.
It took the Challenger crash to change the rules; now government agencies use private launch services, instead of driving them out of the market.
Unburden private companies from subsidized competition and they will provide the money to do what is truly worth doing. Usually they will succeed. But if they fail, it won’t cost the taxpayers anything.
A: “We’re from the government, and we’re here to improve your software.”
Q: Is there any place for anti-trust litigation?
A: If you hate Bill Gates, don’t buy his products. If you hate Janet Reno, you’re out of luck-because she has fines and imprisonment to back her up. No, I do not think there is a place for anti-trust litigation. Anti-trust laws (even in the days of the “robber barons”) have always been used to stifle competition, not expand it.
A: If the government funded car manufacturing today, most likely we would think that’s too big an enterprise for private companies. Actually, the government has wasted enormous sums on the space shuttle and the space station - projects that could have been done for much less without bureaucratic expense. No, we don’t have a government for NASA. We have it to protect us from predators - foreign or domestic. NASA is a politically motivated agency that makes its decisions based on politics, just like the FDA or any other government agency. If people won’t pay voluntarily for the fruits of space exploration, why should they be forced (through taxes) to do so? If you can impose your way on others, they can impose their way on you.
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