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Wed Jul 21, 2021, 12:17 PM

Another Small Step For Billionaires: Robert Reich

Last edited Wed Jul 21, 2021, 12:53 PM - Edit history (1)

- The Fake Heroism of Space Billionaires - July 19, 2021.

Within hours, Jeff Bezos will blast off into space, a week after Richard Branson went up. Another small step for billionaires.

Once upon a time, long long ago, people with names like John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Buzz Aldrin, and Sally Ride blasted into space. None was selected on the basis of income or wealth, but on skill and rigorous training. Their heroism – and we regarded them as national heroes – symbolized America’s technological prowess and egalitarianism.

I remember as a kid talking with other kids my age about becoming an astronaut. It was something any of us could aspire to if we had enough guts and gumption. The astronauts of that time came from middle-class and blue-collar families. They’d gone to public schools. They were like the rest of us, but their bravery and skill justified their status as national heroes.

The space program itself was quintessential American. In a way, it seemed as if all of us were going into space, risking our lives for the nation, and becoming the first to land on the moon. Yet our pride was not of the nativist variety. We won the space race because we had worked harder, longer, better. Our astronauts were backed by teams of scientists, aeronautical engineers, and aerospace workers who took great pride in their work, and we took pride in all of them. Again and again, we used the term “we” to describe the achievement, a common good.

Today’s space race could not be more different. Bezos, Branson, and Elon Musk, the third billionaire racing into space, aren’t “we.” There’s no common good in their achievement. They symbolize the extreme apex of wealth today, some of it gained by paying their workers rock-bottom wages and shutting out competitors. They’re closer to the robber barons of the first Gilded Age – Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. Rockefeller – whose conspicuous fortunes were founded on wage suppression, union-busting, and monopolization, and whose toys were the first motor cars and airplanes. The new space venturers are not backed by widely-celebrated teams of scientists, engineers, and workers. There is no collective pride in their achievement...

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https://robertreich.org/post/657190772027817984

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Reply Another Small Step For Billionaires: Robert Reich (Original post)
appalachiablue Jul 21 OP
Xoan Jul 21 #1
appalachiablue Jul 21 #2
empedocles Jul 21 #3
appalachiablue Jul 21 #4
SWBTATTReg Jul 21 #5
MustBeTheBooz Jul 21 #6
SWBTATTReg Jul 21 #7

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 12:22 PM

1. Idiocracy Lives!

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Response to Xoan (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 12:26 PM

2. What a country, progress of the times

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 12:47 PM

3. Don't care which of the 3 billious ones has the biggest . . . 'rocket'

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Response to empedocles (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 12:55 PM

4. New, exciting Age of Phallus Flight

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 01:01 PM

5. So, these billionaires will rant and crow about their so called accomplishments on...

going into Space, and the rest of us will say, 'so what?'.

I don't give a rat's ass about what a billionaire does w/ his/her f**king money and could care less. Perhaps they're pushing the boundaries on affordable space travel for the future, but I foresee where multiple companies are all fighting each other for various rights of exploring, seizing resources (if any found), and pretty well going about their own business regardless of what the rest of society wants or needs. Typical behavior, that they alone, can decide what society needs or wants vs. what is really needed by society, e.g., decent wages, decent and affordable medical care, adequate pensions, etc.

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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 07:02 PM

6. So you DO care at least a little?

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Response to MustBeTheBooz (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 08:53 PM

7. I don't word games like you obviously do.

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