I wouldn’t have previously considered myself to be very political.
But now the rumblings of the next presidential election have started to shake up my world, bombarding my consumption of the daily news.
It seems like every day I hear something different about another GOP candidate. I hear about the Mormon with a net worth of over $200 million. People ask questions about the 76 year-old libertarian congressman’s health. But my personal favorite is the former House Speaker with his eye on that big old pie in the sky.
During the campaign for the Florida primary, GOP candidate Newt Gingrich gave a speech where he detailed his quest for a moon colony by 2020 if elected president. As soon as 13,000 people became residents, Gingrich said the moon could petition for statehood.
When did colonizing the moon take priority over the state of the economy? Are we not still fluctuating around 8 or 9 percent unemployment in the United States? Excuse me, 8.5 percent joblessness in America to be exact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
I can’t accept a presidential candidate’s promise to put 13,000 Americans on the moon by the end of the decade and believe that our country’s finances are headed in the right direction.
I am not anti-moon, or anti-space exploration for that matter. I am all for science and space technologies. However, I believe that with our country’s finances coming in at $15.3 trillion in the negative, it’s a little out there to assume that we could afford a multi-billion dollar project like this, right now.
According to estimates quoted in science magazine “Discover”, the price tag for a modest-sized lunar space station to accommodate four people would come in at $35 billion. Also noted, this price would not include the cost of a rocket to get to the moon in the first place.
Another quote, mentioned in financial magazine “Money”, estimated a fully equipped space station including all operational costs would be in the neighborhood of $250 to $500 billion.
That’s a lot of moon cakes.
So forgive me, Mr. Gingrich, when I’m a little more concerned with whether or not I will have a job in this market come graduation next spring. Maybe, just maybe, if you would consider us earthlings and the economy we are dealing with right now, maybe I could consider actually taking you seriously as a presidential candidate.
How’s that for political?
By Mallory Black