Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Space Frogs Green with Envy

Today, the European Union voted to sink another $3.8 billion into their "Galileo" ersatz GPS project.

Isn't it bad enough that in countries around the world, governments rob money at gunpoint (euphemism: tax) to pay for services that should be provided by voluntarily cooperating individuals? In a free country, all services, including infrastructure and defense, would be provided that way.

Wasn't it bad enough that the US government robbed its citizens to pay for Interstates and GPS, citing national defense? Do governments have to add insult to injury by requiring redundant services out of sheer vanity?

European and other countries bilk their citizens for billions of dollars for what is nothing but a useless duplication of the GPS system. Europeans might as well use the existing GPS system for free instead.

If European rulers don't have a $3.8 billion chip on their collective shoulder, I've never seen any. There's no justification for duplicating GPS but sheer envy.

It's like in the early twentieth century, when every country had to have battleships for white elephants. The result was WWI, by the way.

Gains in accuracy would be marginal. The US government has disabled selective availability permanently. And the argument that GPS civilian service may be turned off in times of military conflict is disingenuous, as no doubt the EU too would turn off Galileo in such a crisis, lest the "enemy" use it.

If you want a global navigation satellite system safe from government abuse and interference, it has to be built by private businesses. But then they would need to base their ground stations on privately owned islands — and need a private Navy and Air Force to defend the system from governments. After all, governments would try to disable such a private global navigation satellite system by force in times of war, lest it benefit their "enemies."

Indeed, "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." Obviously, that will remain true as long as governments exist.

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