Re: About Time @TitterYeNot
Russia might very well bankrupt Ivan 500ml (vodka doesn't come in six packs), but the ruling class won't be effected. They're used to that anyway, plus it's necessary for that to happen if Russia is going to really join the 21st century. Bleeding your citizens dry on projects with little or no actual value is the mark of any modern, leadership class, nation. Hey! Maybe we can do some sort of exchange program! Russia teaches 'The West' how to manage terrorism cheaply and effectively, and we'll show Russia how to avoid its businesses having to pay taxes in foreign countries. It's a win win!
More seriously, 'crazed' investment is how industries and markets are created. Words like 'magnate', 'mogul' and 'robber baron' weren't created as neat new job titles for people doing the same thing as everybody else. Aluminum was a piece of shit, insanely expensive, exotic material until somebody spent several fortunes figuring out how to make it cheap and affordable.
Your Oakley sunglasses and Ping golf clubs wouldn't be made of titanium if not for the investment and years of research I put into reducing production casting costs for the material and some of its alloys so much that I screwed up warehousing markets and purchasing forecasts for every aerospace company on Earth. I saw an opportunity, I met its challenges and now everybody gets to pay extra for using a material that's probably less appropriate for strength and durability in most consumer applications than copper. But hey! Marketing excites emotions and trumps otherwise expressed customer intelligence every single time. It's great too, because all I needed were cheaper parts for accelerator target cooling systems and you get to wear the result on your face and put gas in my cars. Thanks :)
My point, is that the very same greed and desire that's responsible for everything else guarantees that if you build something people can use to make money with they'll do it. It's not an issue of chances or probabilities or even need or common sense, it's as certain as the sunrise or the tides.
If Putin actually 'conquered' the moon then one of only two possibilities will be realized:
- The US and Europe will try to muscle in on the action and establish their own, competing, facilities.
- The US and Europe will create really fucked up global markets that aggressively retard the prices of whatever Russia exports from their lunacy (Ha!).
Either way, something will happen if Putin actually makes good on his promises and the effects will be global. No country, absolutely none, will sit by passively and watch any other country claim dominion over the moon. If you doubt this, simply look up at Antarctica. The Exchequer (the land that will be formerly known as Antarctica in the future) is chock fucking full of treasure greater than all the natural resources Man has used in the history of ever, combined. Stunning amounts of wealth that would enable any dominating nation to control the entirety of Humanity for millennia, but nobody is exploiting Mother Nature's vault, why not?
It's because everybody agrees that nothing but suffering beyond all imagining would result if any country tried to control that place. Check this shit out, even the fucking Nazi's thought the continent was too valuable for any single nation to control. They wanted a share, and if you've not actually been living on the moon since the late 1930's (and failing miserably in taking advantage of the situation :) you're well aware that sharing wasn't exactly high on their list of desirable virtues.
Nations aren't managed successfully by focusing on finances. Again, if you doubt, look at the list of things that the English crown cited as most desirable from its colonies in the New World. You'll find precious metals and such way down the list, pushed down there by the need for trees and ships stores. Can't rule the seas if your Ships of the Line have no masts, leak like Ukrainian whores and have sheets that rot before you make a return passage. But 'sound economic thinking' had seen 'somebody' decide to cut down all their trees previously. Cost them their Kingdom and provided us with a captive island nation to overcharge for consumer electronics and coffee.
You've got to get out in front, not plan from behind or you end up like them and it's entirely possible that other countries will be bankrupted by trying to keep Russia from being on the moon. In actuality, I would say that's far more likely.