We Created a Monster

American taxpayers bootstrapped industries that no longer share the wealth.

by Ed Sawicki   July 7, 2020

Moon flag
Apollo 11-Buzz Aldrin with flag

Is capitalism providing adequately for the general welfare of average Americans or is it ripping them off?

It's the latter. I'll use America's space program to make my point but there are numerous other examples.

Private capital didn't create the space industry. It was bootstrapped with taxpayer dollars. When we taxpayers used our shared pool of money to fund its research and development, it was not a business investment inspiring us to reach for the stars. It was a shared pioneering spirit, initiated by a president with vision, that had us glued to our TV sets as science fiction became reality.

Private industry benefited greatly from this taxpayer-funded program. Many technologies and products came to market as a result of NASA discoveries and public-domain inventions. Average Americans benefited from employment opportunities in the private sector. These corporations and their wealthy owners paid adequate taxes to fund our social needs.

Things changed with the Reagan and subsequent administrations. Taxes were slashed for corporations and the wealthy. The spoils of capitalism now flow mostly to the top. America's taxpayers—the ground floor investors who ensured the success of many of these companies—must now deal with a system that seeks to keep wages and benefits low and to cut social programs that other countries offer their citizens.

We built a Frankenstein that's now terrorizing us and it's being nurtured by both of our political parties—one far worse than the other.