NASA Funding

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by cwbullet, Apr 17, 2019.

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  1. Apr 17, 2019 #1

    cwbullet

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  2. Apr 17, 2019 #2

    Tbmx3

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    There is no way there is a 10-1 return on dollars spent on NASA? If so, where do I sign up on investing? Something must be lost in translation.. every hedge fund on the planet would bank roll this all the way to Pluto!!
     
  3. Apr 17, 2019 #3

    cwbullet

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    Read the article. It explains it. It makes sense. I am sure there is a limit to the return.
     
  4. Apr 17, 2019 #4

    Mushtang

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    The article says, "SpaceX, Orbital ATK, and Sierra Nevada are involved with making supply runs to the shuttle." After reading that I'm not sure how closely the author is paying attention to anything else they wrote.
     
  5. Apr 17, 2019 #5

    jmuck78

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    I believe you are referring to the $180 billion figure mention in the article. That number includes space spending from other government sectors as well as private investment. Its not correct to assume that because we spend X on NASA and there is Y spent on space, that Y is driven exclusively by X.
     
  6. Apr 17, 2019 #6

    Winston

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    No need to be 10:1 or anything even close. Even if it's just 1.25:1, and I'm sure it's much more, it's a wise investment and stupid to cut.
     
  7. Apr 17, 2019 #7

    boatgeek

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    One interesting thing about economics is that you're pretty much guaranteed to get a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio out of most any program once you start counting indirect jobs. Indirect jobs are the people who work for the prime contractors' suppliers, the people who run the sandwich shop in the prime contractor's building, and the checkout clerk at the grocery store where the prime contractor's employees shop, etc. Those are real benefits, but the cause and effects start getting really murky once you start looking at indirect effects. For example, would your employees stop buying groceries if they didn't have the job with the contractor? It's a big deal for the city/town the prime contractor is in, but probably not as big a deal for the nation as a whole.

    I'm not arguing against funding NASA, but I think the people who wrote the article are (to mix a metaphor) cheerleading pretty hard on thin ice.
     
  8. Apr 17, 2019 #8

    cwbullet

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    I agree. Return on investment is difficult to gauge, but I am sure 1 dollar in funding NASA is better than 10 put in many other programs to include Welfare, Medicaid, and just about any special interest funding.
     
  9. Apr 17, 2019 #9

    boatgeek

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    Another odd point. Giving money to poor people (usually via welfare, etc.) give a substantially higher return on GDP than giving the same amount of money to wealthier people. It turns out that poor people tend to spend the money immediately, so it sloshes around the economy more giving more indirect benefits. Wealthier people tend to sock it away in bank accounts, where it has less immediate impact. There are many arguments beyond GDP about welfare, Medicaid, tax cuts for the wealthy, etc., but those are beyond the Great TRF Wall of Politics.
     
  10. Apr 17, 2019 #10

    SecondRow

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    These economic impact studies come up a lot during the development of taxpayer funded stadiums (and, really, most kinds of development). They’re almost always optimistic by a factor of 10 because they’re created by the entity trying to justify the money.

    As far as NASA goes, though, when it comes to societal impact, I tend to subscribe to SMBC’s line of thought, linked here because of some language.

    https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/spinoffs
     
  11. Apr 18, 2019 #11

    Banzai88

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  12. Apr 18, 2019 #12

    jderimig

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    But $1 spent on NASA doesn't return 10 votes. That's the name of the game baby....
     
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  13. Apr 18, 2019 #13

    cwbullet

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    Not making a political point. Dollars to NASA pay wages and lead to other jobs. The others help fewer.
     
  14. Apr 18, 2019 #14

    Alan15578

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    I have not read "thebalance". I'm not even sure ROI is the best metric. Certainly the methodology used to compute or estimate ROI in this instance is critical and suspect. However, my question is, assuming a consistent methodology is used, How does ROI of NASA funding vary from the Apollo years, the Shuttle years, the ISS years, and speculatively in the next 10 years?

    Alan
     
  15. Apr 18, 2019 #15

    jderimig

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    I am not so sure. If you have a program to bury $1B in mason jars and then pay another group of people to dig them up you can argue that is paying wages and leads to other jobs. The issue is whether you are getting a continuing annuity after you spent the government money. I am not so sure with some NASA projects that is the case.

    What is the continuing annuity of the Space Shuttle program?
     
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  16. Apr 18, 2019 #16

    Mushtang

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    According to the article they're still making supply runs to the shuttle. :D

    So it's got to be greater than 1.0, right?
     
  17. Apr 18, 2019 #17

    Peartree

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    1) Because it's there.
    2) Because we can.

    Have always been, and are still really good answers.

    That said, it seems beyond pointless for the government to simultaneously say, "Go to the moon," "Keep doing everything that you are doing," and "Do it all for 10% less than we gave you last year."
     
  18. Apr 18, 2019 #18

    SecondRow

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    Aside from sequestration in 2013 when it was cut by $1B, NASA's budget has been steadily rising for the past 20 years.
     
  19. Apr 18, 2019 #19

    Peartree

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    Obviously, I misread something. I thought the premise of the OP was that there would be cuts. Nevermind. I'm going back to my little world.
     

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