By Richard Abel
SpaceX, a private American aerospace manufacturer, launched two experimental broadband satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket this past week, in an effort to further internet service technology. This move by the private sector company in the free market of technology stands to increase internet access for people around the world.
The satellites are the next step in an endeavor by CEO Elon Musk to provide low-cost internet to as much of the world as possible, by use of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) technology, which allows for better transmission of broadband signals.
As with any advancement, there is a push for government oversight. At a meeting on Wednesday, the National Space Council, headed by Vice President Michael Pence, recommended the creation of a space czar to oversee regulations on all things commercial in space.
However, appointing a “space czar” to oversee a relatively free market might be counterproductive. The American Airline industry saw an incredible boom after deregulation in the seventies. The partial deregulation led to a price drop and an increase in innovation, ultimately yielding better results for customers. If SpaceX and other companies like it are given more freedom to innovate, the benefits they can provide are limitless.
In a free market, private companies are driven by competition and a need to provide better products for their consumers. In other words, they have a vested interest in the results. Government on the other hand is not motivated by the same incentives.
“Government fails, but individuals – even greedy ones – pursuing their own personal profit, they succeed and help other people. That’s what made America possible,” said John Stossel at the Young Americans for Liberty New York City Spring Summit last Saturday. “Government can’t even count votes accurately, and yet, Americans, our instinct is to say: ‘Healthcare problems? Government has to take it over. Education? Government has to run it. Public schools…’ No.”
Groups like Young Americans for Liberty, the Cato Institute, and the Foundation for Economic Education are working to advance those ideas and bring them into the hands of the next generation.
SpaceX and the advances that it could provide are fathomless; appointing a “space czar”, regardless of the bureaucratic claims, would only limit progress. By definition, “czar” is a Russian term used for emperors that historically have ruled as absolute monarchs. The White House is claiming this position is intended to make regulations less burdensome, begging the question, how does appointing a regulator of sorts decrease regulations?
It has been tested and proven, time and time again, that the more power people have to choose and innovate where economics are concerned, the more quickly it leads them to prosperity.
In the same aforementioned speech, John Stossel gave the example of Hong Kong; “They had the recipe for prosperity. They had two things: economic freedom and rule of law… They enforced laws against theft…and then they let people alone. And free people, left with that economic freedom, made themselves wealthy. It’s just a miracle story.”
In other words: the freer the market, the freer the people, and the greater chance there is of everyone’s lives improving, throughout the future. We have this opportunity right now with SpaceX, a private company incentivized by competition, to provide a better product to the every man like you and me.