Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hey Washington D.C. Jobs Summit: I Have Your Answer Right Here!

I have to think that whatever they come up with during this jobs summit, if anything at all, it will not be focused on long term job creation, but short term quick fixes. This is depressing, because it's painfully obvious that what we need is a long term focus, a strong solution that covers years of job sustainability, and NOT just government jobs, but private sector jobs.

What we have is a lack of focus on long term production. These shovel ready projects (bridges and roads) that were the core of the Stimulus Package are very short term jobs and limited in scope and scale. What we need is a larger full scale project, or projects, that employ hundreds of thousands...if not millions. A Moon Base sounds like a good project to spur innovation and get our kids excited, and add to it a nice asteroid mission to mine resources and a serious project to help private industry develop Space Based Solar Power concepts. These are things that will take 20+ years to accomplish...LONG TERM!

Like Kennedy did in the 60's, but for reasons of challenging Russia, the current or next Administration should once again use space as a rallying point. This time, as a means for creating jobs, not just engineers and scientists either, but a whole host of jobs that would be directly and indirectly related to the endeavor. For every 1 person directly related to the project(s) making an average of $80,000 a year, you'll end up also creating another 1 or 2 jobs based on the fact that that person now has the kind of income to buy a house, car, clothes, eat out...basically spend money. Hello retail sector.

And more than 50% of this should be handled by private industry, not NASA and the government. NASA has a role, but to create long term jobs you must have the private sector carry the lion share of the work, use the grants and loans for technological development, and grow the Commercial Space Industry so that it becomes a self sustaining force for space travel and space based development. The government could even make money on this like they did when they worked with the railroad industry to build the Intercontinental Railroad.

This would also spur technological growth in a whole host of sectors, because as all space advocates know, developing space technologies ends up also developing technologies in unrelated sectors. Who knows what crazy advancements would be made in the medical, transportation and even clothing sectors. History has proven this, so why not embrace it?

This is a common sense, no-brainer solution to one hell of a problem...series of problems! Bring in other nations to join us in the grand project, thereby fortifying our peaceful cooperation relationships. Kids seeing real movement in the space industry beyond 2 or 3 launches a year will get them excited to get into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), especially if they genuinely feel they can go into space themselves to do work.

Mr. President, the time is now. The solution is obvious. Let's go!


Marcel F. Williams said...

I think it obvious that we need to keep the shuttle program going until the next generation space vehicle or vehicles are ready. So that saves jobs.

A lunar settlement program is a must, IMO, that will create jobs now a much more in the future-- especially when wealthy tourist start to visit our lunar facilities.

A $3 billion a year increase in the NASA budget would produce more jobs.

Funding the development of man rated Jupiter-lite rocket booster for NASA, the Air Force, and private industry in order to easily access LEO, would be another good government investment that would probably cost the military less than 1.5 billion a year over the next 6 or 7 years.

Cutting the NASA budget, however, would be a bad idea as far as current and future job creation. Investing in space creates jobs!

Douglas Mallette said...

I'd rather invest in Shuttle 2.0, but do it on a rapid time line with major funding.

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