Bailouts – Putting them in perspective

$700 Billion for the bankers.

That’s $7 0 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 .

That’s $7E11.

Or perhaps $700,000 Million.

Since its creation in the late 1950’s NASA has spent about $400 Billion (actual dollars).  Adjusted for inflation the number rises to about $800 Billion, about what the whole bailout bill comes to with the $110 Billion in pork barrel spending that the Senate added on, including the critical $2 Million tax relief for the children’s wooden arrow manufacturers.  Those numbers (except for the $2 Million for the wooden arrow manufacturers) are from an editorial by George Fox Lang entitled “Sometimes Something Wonderful Happens” in Sound and Vibration, November 2008, Vol. 42, No.11.

They have put people into orbit and sent them to the Moon.  They have sent spacecraft on a grand tour of the outer planets that are still going far out into interstellar space.  They have sent robots to explore Mars.  They have developed all kinds of technologies and materials that we take for granted today and spurred the imagination of a generation of scientists and engineers. 

So what is it again, that the bankers are doing with their bailout money?

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