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SpaceX and NASA to the Space Station: Moving Away from Zombie Narratives

Updated: Jun 1

Photo from Pasztor (2020): SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft approaches the international space station. PHOTO: NASA TV/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK


Pasztor (2020) covers the fact, in the Business section of the Wall Street Journal, that SpaceX&NASA are working together, effectively. It is clear that the Wall Street Journal sees the event as a substantive event to the Business Community. It also gives Metaeconomic evidence that joint Market&Government works. It is a teachable moment, to help Blog readers understand Metaeconomics: It is about seeing the payoff from the jointness and interdependence in Market&Government, SpaceX&NASA.


Perhaps most importantly, it is about moving away from the old and tired Economic Narrative started in the Reagan and Thatcher years, which led to a virtual collapse of both US and UK Capitalism. The Narrative resulted in a loss of massive numbers of high paying jobs for US workers; banking and financial collapse in 2008; and an economy without deeper strengths to this time. It led to a great deal of Bad Capitalism in both the US and the UK, and a kind of Potemkin Populism in both places at the current time. What was that Narrative?


Shiller (2019) points to it: The Narrative started in the early-1980s was that the Government could do no good and the Market could do no bad. Really. So, only bad people work in Government and good people work in the Market? Empirical evidence, please. A Narrative gone viral does not make it scientifically, empirically based. And, as Stiglitz (2019) makes clear, the Narrative from the early-1980s has brought a great deal of Bad Capitalism, which is the reason for all the political and social turmoil (see Lynne, in press, to make Metaeconomic sense of it all).


The SpaceX&NASA effort to bring the US back into addressing Spaceship Earth on a larger scale shows that it is possible to do good things, jointly, and move toward a Good Capitalism. It built on the strengths of both: Government funded scientific research and development integrated with Market know how to build machines.


Building on the best that both SpaceX*NASA could bring to the table suggests Capitalism can be Saved, although the current tendency is disturbing. Addressing the fact the Spaceship is flying around the Sun and through the larger University, a science based and progressive frame of reference, has been embraced by both Right (Senator Ted Cruse led the charge)&Left-isle politicians, Conservative&Progressive, resulting in a true integration of Market&Government. There is hope.


So, it is time to put away the Zombie Ideas (and, many more are around, see Krugman, 2020) from the early-1980s that have once again become popular in the political rhetoric on the current Cosmopolitan-Nationalism scale, which itself is a kind of Zombie Idea (go read 1930s history about Nationalism, or, was that Fascism). The Government entity represented in NASA that just did the science, research, and development in joint effort with the SpaceX business that built the equipment, and the machine was flown by two astronauts employed by the Government, is not an evil deep state. The empirical evidence that the Dragon just connected with the International---yes, a Spaceship Earth Station, not a Nationalist--Space Station instead supports the fact of a productive state (NASA), jointly productive with business (SpaceX).


And, why does a joint SpaceX&NASA work so well? It is because of the Empathy based other (shared between SpaceX and NASA, the common ground)-interest. The shared other-interest gives the context for both entities to pursue their self-interest in far more productive ways. People in SpaceX and in NASA can then pursue each their own-interest, with good balance in self&other-interest on both sides. Metaeconomics based Market&Government, anyone?

References

Krugman, P. Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2020.

Lynne, G.D. Metaeconomics: Tempering Excessive Greed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, in press.

Pasztor, Andy. Elon Musk’s SpaceX Capsule Links Up With Space Station. Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2020, Digital Edition. https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musks-spacex-capsule-links-up-with-space-station-11590934994

Shiller, Robert J. Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2019.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. People, Power and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2019.

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